Week 35 stutters 6% down on last year, 8% off in North America

WINGXТs weekly Business Aviation Bulletin.  

Summary

Business jet demand stuttered in week 35, as reflected in muted Labor Day flight activity. Bizjet demand in Florida was down 20% for Week 35. In Europe, bizjet activity in Germany is falling below 2019 levels. The year-to-date trend in global business aviation is nonetheless only modestly off from 2022 peaks.

Global

So far this year (1st January – 3rd September), global business jet and turboprop sectors are trending 3% behind the same period last year, 15% ahead of 2019. Focussing on just business jet activity, YTD global sectors are 5% behind last year, 19% ahead of 2019. The top 5 commercial airlines (Southwest, American, Delta, Ryanair & United Airlines) are flying 13% ahead of last year, 7% ahead of 2019.

Chart 1: Global fixed wing flights by sector, 1st January Ц 3rd September 2023 compared to previous years. (Note business aviation includes turboprops)

Europe

In Week 35, through September 3rd, European business jet activity grew 6% compared to Week 34, 6% below the same dates in 2022. In the last four weeks activity has fallen 8% compared to last year. So far this year, European business jet activity has fallen 8% compared to last year, 8% ahead of 2019. Germany and Austria are seeing activity drop behind 2019 levels, 2% and 4% respectively.

Cessna bizjet fleets are flying by far the most in Europe so far this year, although departures are down 12% compared to last year, 7% ahead of 2019. Bombardier and Embraer fleets are holding up better, departures down 4% and 6% compared to last year, both double digit growth compared to 2019. So far this year Gulfstream aircraft are the most active OEM in Europe, although departures are 2% behind last year, 5% behind 2019.

Chart 2: European Business OEMs, 1st January Ц 3rd September 2023 vs previous years.

Chart 3: European Business Jet activity 1st January Ц 3rd September 2023 vs previous years.

North America

In Week 35, business jet activity in North America fell 4% compared to the previous week, 8% below the same dates last year. In the last four weeks activity is 5% below the same dates last year. So far this year there have been 1.8 million bizjet departures across the region, 6% fewer than last year, 18% more than four years ago.

Corporate flight departments are flying 9% fewer flights than last year, slightly below four years ago. Fractional and Aircraft management programmes are well ahead of 2019, although aircraft management programmes are 6% behind last year.

In the United States overall activity is down 6% compared to last year, 16% ahead of 2019. Florida is the busiest state, although activity is down 9% compared to last year. Elsewhere California and Colorado seeing double digit declines compared to last year, second ranked Texas down 6%.

Chart 4: North America business jet operator types, 1st January Ц 3rd September 2023 vs previous years.

Asia

In Asia, business jet activity this year is 15% ahead of last year, 49% ahead of 2019. India remains the top market, double digit growth compared to last year, triple digit growth compared to 2019. Bizjets in China are trailing 2% behind 4 years ago, although strong growth, 56%, compared to last year. Elsewhere double-digit declines compared to last year in Israel and Philippines, although both well ahead of 4 years ago.

Ultra-long-range jets are the busiest in terms of departures and active aircraft this year, departures 38% ahead of last year. Bizliner activity is ahead of 4 years ago, trailing last year by 3%, Midsize activity 5% below last year, triple digit growth vs 2019.

Chart 5: Business Jet aircraft segments, Asia, 1st January Ц 3rd September 2023 compared to previous years.

Middle East

Business jet activity across the Middle East region is 4% ahead of last year, 47% ahead of comparable 2019. A number of key markets are seeing activity dip compared to last year, namely Cyprus, Bahrain, Lebanon and Kuwait. United Arab Emirates is seeing activity double compared to YTD 2019, 5% ahead of last year, Saudi Arabia 8% growth vs last year, 40% above 4 years ago.

Chart 6: Business jet activity by Country, Middle East, 1st January Ц 3rd September 2023 compared to previous years.