Global business jet activity is now on pace to surpass 2019 levels, the previous high-water mark for the industry, according to WingX. In its latest Global Market Tracker report, WingX noted that business jets had flown just under 2.9 million sectors to date this year, marking a 3 percent increase over the same period in 2019 and a 70 percent jump from a year ago. However, activity has eased a bit during August, a trend WingX attributes to concerns surrounding the Covid-19 delta variant.
Cargo, meanwhile, is now 7 percent up over the sectors flown during the same period in 2019, while airline movements “have been treading water” over the past several weeks and are still down by 40 percent from 2019 levels, WingX reported.
In Europe, business jet travel this month is up by 25 percent compared with August 2019. France, Germany, and Spain have been the top markets, WingX said, where they “have all seen records broken by more than 20 percent.” UK operations are 10 percent more than in August 2019 and Greece arrivals are up 28 percent.
Delta variant concerns have ebbed flight activity in North America, WingX added, but operations are still up 16 percent through August 24. While year-to-date business jet activity is 3 percent ahead of 2019, turboprop flying has been down 10 percent. That brought the trend for overall business aviation activity to a 1 percent improvement thus far over 2019.
Though the U.S. is the busiest market, Canada is showing improvement but Mexico is only at 70 percent of August 2019 levels. Business jet activity is reaching stronger levels in Brazil, China, Nigeria, and South Africa, WingX reported.
“August has delivered the predicted record rebound in business aviation demand,” said WingX managing director Richard Koe. “The even-slower than expected recovery in commercial airline operations will emphasize the advantages of flying on-demand. There are still some constraints in terms of travel restrictions and virus variants, but the harder limit on business aviation activity in the short term may be the lack of available aircraft.”