According to a new white paper from Argus International, U.S. business aviation flying is expected to return to 73 percent of normal this month and then 83 percent of normal in July and August. “If the August forecast holds then we will see approximately 225,000 business aviation flights in North America for the month. That is off from the 2019 monthly average of 260,000 but it would represent a 300 percent increase from our April low of 74,771,” its analysts said.
However, they warned that business aviation entered this environment in a global pandemic and will likely emerge in a recession, so “all bets are off on exactly what our recovery will look like.” For business aviation, a recession would be “heavily tied” to Wall Street, Argus’s analysts said. “If the short-term trends are any indication, we will probably return to 15 to 20 percent of normal in July and August, with activity showing a closer correlation to the ease of quarantine and stay-at-home orders.”
If the financial damage is on the milder side, Argus’s analysts believe the industry could make up the remaining losses over the next 12 to 18 months. But if the financial impact turns out to be deeper, then it will take longer, they said.
“Either way, we live in a global, connected world and business aviation will be vital to our recovery,” they concluded. “As we face down this new, unforeseen challenge our industry will rise to the occasion and it will play a key role. Business aviation isn’t going anywhere and maybe we’ll see that 10,000 daily flight average in the not-too-distant future.”