U.S. business aircraft departures in 2022 reached 4.06 million in 2022, a nearly 10 percent increase over 2019 levels, according to an Airbus Corporate Jets analysis. Each month in 2022 came in higher than business aircraft departures during the same month in 2019, the company added. The average number of hours flown also is up by 3.5 percent from pre-pandemic 2019.
Heavy jets, ultra-long-range, and bizliner activity in particular experienced a 19.4 percent increase from 2019, with 99.9 percent of the flights flown on routes less than 5,500 nm.
Departures of the larger and longer-range jets jumped by 69.5 percent at Palm Beach International Airport in Florida and by 64.2 percent at Miami-Opa locka Executive Airport. Across the country in Arizona, departures increased by 55.6 percent at Scottsdale.
While Teterboro Airport has returned to being the busiest business aviation airport, departures there last year were still down by 1.6 percent from 2019 for all business aircraft and 3 percent lower for larger, longer-range models.
However, many of the other airports saw gains in business aircraft traffic in general, as well as that involving larger aircraft. Departures were up at Van Nuys Airport in California—by 19.6 percent for all aircraft and 26.7 percent for the larger types alone. Westchester County Airport near New York City saw gains of 12.2 percent and 20.4 percent, respectively.
Airbus Corporate Jets research indicates the majority of operators plan to increase their use of business aircraft this year, with one in four organizations participating in the study predicting their operations will rise by more than 50 percent.
“The U.S. business aviation market enjoyed strong growth last year, and a key factor behind this was more people using private jets during covid-19 and a reluctance among many to give up the considerable benefits they offer,” said Sean McGeough, v-p of commercial ACJ for North America. “The pandemic resulted in a significant increase in people using business aviation for the first time. This will have a long-term positive impact on the growth of the market.”