Bizav Operations Still Ahead of 2019 But Softening

 - December 15, 2022, 11:14 AM
Charter flights have dropped precipitously in the first part of December, leading WingX managing director Richard Koe to question whether the number of new customers to the market is starting to ease. (Photo: Embraer)

Global business aviation operations softened by 2 percent from 2021 in the first 12 days of December but are still up by 5 percent from the same period in 2019, according to WingX’s latest Global Market Tracker. Year-to-date, business jet and turboprop flights are up 11 percent from last year and by 14 percent from 2019.

“Business jet activity is steadily slipping off post-Covid highs, although it’s likely 2022 will still conclude with a low double-digit gain on 2019,” said WingX managing director Richard Koe. “That said, there is now a marked decline in charter activity, suggesting first-time customers may be exiting the market.”

In North America, business jet activity inched down by 3 percent from December 2021 while still remaining 5 percent up from 2019. WingX called Florida the busiest state in terms of activity in December. While activity is down 9 percent from last year in the Sunshine state, they are 17 percent more than in 2019.  Texas activity is on par with last year but California is seeing a drop.

Branded charter, in particular, has plunged in the first half of December, down by 23 percent from a year ago and by 5 percent from 2019. Aircraft management operations, while marking an 8 percent improvement from 2019, are 5 percent off this month from a year ago. However, private activity is 10 percent busier than this time last year.

In Europe, demand has continued to slide with 8 percent fewer sectors flown this month than in December 2021 and 4 percent fewer than in 2019. UK, Germany, and France are also experiencing fewer flights than in 2019. But activity is ticking up in Italy and Switzerland with ski season providing a boost.

Most of the rest of the world is experiencing an uptick, aided in part by the FIFA Men’s World Cup. Key airports associated with the matches have logged a 291 percent jump in arrivals. Activity in December has increased by 20 percent in the Middle East overall from a year ago, 18 percent in Africa, and 28 percent in Asia. However, South American operations are down 3 percent.