WingX: Lockdowns Take Toll on December Bizav Ops

 - December 18, 2020, 1:03 PM

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

Renewed lockdowns in North America and Europe led to a 20 percent year-over-year drop in business aviation flights in the first half of December, according to WingX’s latest Global Market Tracker. This remains well ahead of scheduled airline activity, which is less than half of what it was a year ago.

WingX tracked 147,353 business aviation flights in the first half of the month.  A decline in the North American market, in particular, is weighing down the overall market with 24 percent fewer flights this month.

However, high-end leisure destinations have shown some resiliency. In the Caribbean, flights are down 14 percent in December (year-over-year), which WingX said marks a significantly stronger trend than the broader market.

Europe is showing a little more strength than in the U.S. with flights down 19 percent in the first half of the month. UK flights, however, have fallen by at least a third. 

“Business aviation is navigating turbulent waters with the renewed lockdowns, and in what is already a fallow period of the year for leisure travel, the hollowed-out corporate travel market is offering little support,” said WingX managing director Richard Koe. “That said, trending activity hasn't drastically dropped from the post-spring highs in October, and the leisure market, especially to get-away sun and ski destinations, may be picking up as we approach Christmas.”