Global Bizav Activity Continues Bumpy Recovery

 - July 16, 2020, 10:04 AM

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

A rebound in global business aviation activity continues, but a resurgence of Covid-19 infections and new restrictions in the U.S. threaten that recovery, according to WingX Advance’s latest Global Market Tracker. Through the first two weeks of July, activity is off by 19 percent compared with the same period last year while the rolling seven-day average peaked at just under 16,000 flights in July versus the pandemic low of under 4,000 flights in April.

In North America, July activity was 20 percent below a year ago while European flights were 82 percent of normal July activity. Oceania remained at 10 percent below normal while Asia was 23 percent below normal. Global business aviation activity is down 31 percent for the year and 47 percent since mid-March. That compares with a 75 percent decline in global airline activity since mid-March.

WingX said the U.S. was a key recovery market in May and June, and in the first two weeks of July activity was off by 17 percent despite an increase in coronavirus cases in the South and West and renewed stay-at-home orders.

Among aircraft types, activity was strongest for light jets, which were down by 8 percent. Midsize business jets were improving, with super-midsize jets activity at 85 percent of normal. Heavy jets were down by 30 percent and the decline for ultra-long-range jets was 36 percent.

“So far this summer, the overall recovery in global business aviation activity is persisting despite the rise in global infections and the bumpiness in lockdown policies,” said WingX managing director Richard Koe. “The European summer season is the big driver, now that most regional quarantines are lifted, with promising trends in Central Europe. We expect that to follow around the Med in the next few weeks. The bigger question mark is around the U.S. recovery, where renewed restrictions and their economic repercussions could slow or reverse the flight activity recently regained.”