Bizjet Ops Soften in North America, Europe This Month

 - March 19, 2023, 1:16 PM
Both Europe and North America are seeing year-over-year declines in business jet activity in March, particularly with branded charter, WingX reported. (Photo: Gulfstream)

Business jet activity is softening globally, with traffic dipping 9 percent month-to-date and 7 percent in the last four weeks versus the same periods a year ago, according to WingX’s latest report. This erosion is driven by lower activity in both North America and Europe.

In North America, business jet departures are down 10 percent for the month and activity dropped by 8 percent over the last four weeks. This comes as month-to-date branded charter and corporate activity slid 28 percent and 15 percent, respectively. By contrast, private flight departments and fractional activity climbed 2 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

In the U.S. alone, business jet flights are down 11 percent from last March 2022. A majority, 93 percent, are domestic flights. Mexico is the top international destination but flights are still off 8 percent month-over-month. However, transatlantic flights are up 3 percent.

In Europe, business jet sectors are down 9 percent month-to-date and 11 percent over the last four weeks versus the same time frames in 2022. Excluding Russia, sectors are down 8 percent this month. WingX said 71 percent of the business jet activity is on international flights in this region.

Branded charter and aircraft management activity in Europe are down 15 percent and 11 percent year-over-year, respectively, WingX said. France has been the busiest European market so far this month, followed by the UK and Germany.

However, activity is busier in other parts of the world, up 17 percent so far this month. Brazil, Australia, and India all have seen an uptick in demand.

“March 2022 was the record peak in business aviation activity, reflecting the pent-up demand as the pandemic faded and lockdowns were released, so it’s not a great surprise to see lower [year-over-year] activity,” surmised WingX managing director Richard Koe. “However, with emerging concerns of another global financial crisis, we may well see further softening in business jet usage in the next few months.”