WingX: World Bizav Traffic Slowly Rising

 - May 22, 2020, 2:51 PM
As the business aviation segment slowly recovers, smaller aircraft such as the single-engine Pilatus PC-12 turboprop are seeing use while their intercontinental-range business jet counterparts remain largely idle, amidst the continuing Covid-19 pandemic.

This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.

Global business aviation traffic is down by 55 percent year-over-year as the industry continues dealing with the headwinds posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the latest statistics released on Thursday by data provider WingX. In its weekly Global Market Tracker, the company noted that the 113,000 legs flown thus far in May stands in contrast to the 254,000 a year before. On average, 2,600 business aircraft were active each day in May, representing 44 percent of the number usually deployed.

But the Hamburg, Germany-based WingX noted some cause for optimism as the seven-day rolling average jumped from 4,800 flights on May 1, to 6,800 on May 19. At its low point in mid-April, the total plunged below 3,700 daily flights. In contrast, commercial scheduled flights are still around 85 percent below normal levels.

“The improvement in daily activity is encouraging, as is the higher fleet employment, but its too early to see if this demand is resilient, or simply reflects the slight relaxation in government lockdown,” said WingX managing director Richard Koe. “The trajectory of virus suppression policy seems to indicate that international and especially intercontinental travel will be slowest to recover.”

So far this month, nearly 30 percent of all business aviation activity involved turboprops, mainly the Pilatus PC-12, Cessna 208 Caravan, and the Beechcraft King Air 200.