The Thanksgiving holidays provided a bump to business aviation traffic, WingX reported, noting that business jet and turboprop activity experienced a “big dip” in the first two weeks of the month followed by a recovery in the latter part of the month.
In all, 60,000 fewer business aircraft sectors were flown year-over-year in November, representing a 17 percent decline. This is only slightly worse than the trend in October and compares with the 50 percent drop that scheduled airline traffic experienced at the same time, the analyst said.
During the four-day U.S. Thanksgiving period last week, business aviation departures numbered 33,227, just 10 percent off from a year earlier. Thanksgiving in Canada brought traffic to within 6 percent of normal.
WingX further is seeing a diverging trend with improvements in North America and weakening in Europe. Germany, which saw a year-over-year gain in August, is now off by more than 30 percent. Italy flights are down 36 percent, and France has seen a 21 percent drop.
Asian activity, meanwhile, is within 5 percent of normal, above normal in Oceania, “robust” in South America, and within 9 percent of typical activity in Africa, WingX said.
“Just as the U.S. airlines saw the busiest traffic since March during Thanksgiving, business aviation activity also climbed close to its pandemic peak last weekend, lifting the overall trend for November,” said WingX managing director Richard Koe. “In Europe, the dynamic variations in lockdown 2.0 are clearly suppressing flight activity, especially in Western Europe. In Eastern Europe, Russia, Turkey, lighter restrictions and larger domestic geography have encouraged a much stronger recovery.”