Global business jet activity continues to outpace its pre-pandemic 2019 levels, according to the latest August statistics released today by industry data tracker WingX Advance. For the first 10 days of the month, the 91,424 private jet flights represent an 8 percent increase over the same period in 2019 and a 31 percent rise over a year ago, the Hamburg, Germany-based company reported. This is in stark contrast to commercial aviation levels that still lag comparable August 2019 numbers by 40 percent.
The European market rose 12 percent from August 2019, with business jet arrivals in Switzerland up by 26 percent and departures from Italy 22 percent higher. Nice is the busiest airport in Europe this month, with 23 percent more activity than two years ago. The UK, Ireland, Sweden, and Turkey still “materially” lag their pre-pandemic activity levels, which WingX notes “correlates with renewed concerns and restrictions around the pandemic.”
In the U.S., totals for the month thus far are 16 percent above 2019 levels. While Canadian and Mexican activity still continues to creep toward normal levels, they are still down by 30 percent compared to two years ago. Activity at some Caribbean destinations such the U.S. Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico are setting records, and business jet arrivals into Turks and Caicos so far this month are up 147 percent compared to the 2019 period.
Ultra-long-range jets, which were largely idled by international travel restrictions last year, have seen a resurgence over the past two months, with flights up by 15 percent in August compared to 2019. Flight hours in these aircraft also increased by 8 percent from two years ago, indicating their use for longer trips.
“After seven months of trailing behind the recovery in the U.S., the recovery in business jet demand in Europe is surging ahead as we reach the peak of the summer season,” said WingX managing director Richard Koe. “Growth in the U.S. market has softened slightly but it’s not yet clear whether the resurgence of the Delta [Covid-19] variant will put a dent in the record-breaking trend established since the spring of this year.”