As worldwide business aviation wraps up a record year, activity was down by 2 percent in the first half of December versus the same period in 2021. However, it was still 10 percent above pre-Covid numbers, according to the latest statistics released by industry data tracker WingX Advance.
For the nearly complete year, global business aviation is up 10 percent year-over-year, 54 percent above pandemic-stricken 2020, and 14 percent over 2019 totals.
North American business jet operations month-to-date are down 4 percent from a year ago but still 12 percent above December 2019 levels. New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport showed the most activity thus far in December, with 4,846 departures, virtually static from last year and nearly 7 percent above 2019 activity.
While the year-to-date usage of charter and fractional fleets is up nearly 30 percent over the 2019 tally, brand charter activity for December decreased by 21 percent compared with last year. Corporate flight department usage has risen 18 percent over December 2021 and by 5 percent from the same period in 2019. But it was the private flight department sector that garnered the largest share of activity at 25 percent, as well as the largest year-over-year growth—up 22 percent compared with 2021.
In Europe, December business jet flights are down 8 percent year-over-year and essentially flat with December 2019. Thus far for the month, the UK is the busiest market and is still growing compared with last year.
For the rest of the world, December’s business jet activity remains strong at 18 percent higher than last year and 57 percent above 2019.
“The last few months have seen the post-Covid bounce in business jet demand fall away, and in Europe this winter we are starting to see lower activity levels than in 2019,” said WingX Advance managing director Richard Koe. “The recessionary outlook for the economy is likely to bake this decline into 2023.” Koe expects a trajectory of 5 to 10 percent gains over 2019 levels next year.