This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.
Global business aviation flight activity continues to recover from its Covid-19-induced slumber, with the moving seven-day average steadily improving 40 percent over the past three weeks, according to data released by WingX Advance on Thursday. That average rose from a low of about 3,600 flights per day in mid-April to some 5,200 flights per day as of May 6.
“This recovery in business aviation activity is far more perceptible than in scheduled airlines,” noted WingX managing director Richard Koe. “Whereas business aviation activity comprised about 15 percent of scheduled sectors at the start of March, it now represents around 33 percent. The North America region is contributing most to the recovery trend in business aviation sectors. Europe is still very flat.”
The lower end of the market—turboprops and light jets—have driven much of the increase, while the upper-end, large-cabin segment has “shown no recovery,” according to Wing X. It said the very light jet segment recorded the strongest recovery trend, and turboprops—mainly the Cessna Caravan, Pilatus PC-12, and Beechcraft King Air 200—average around 50 percent normal levels.
Globally, business aviation activity fell by 68 percent from April 1 to May 5, WingX data shows. During this period, the key North American and European markets fell by about 70 percent, with Asia and South America down 67 percent and 64 percent below normal, respectively. The Oceania region has recovered to 48 percent of normal activity, while Australian traffic fell by only 37 percent, WingX added.