Bizjet flight activity slumps in Germany as economy wavers

WINGXs weekly Business Aviation Bulletin.  

Summary

The US bizjet market is holding up and seems to reflect the steadier economic outlook for the US economy in Q3. Conversely, European bizjet usage is softer, particularly in recession-stricken countries like Germany. In Asia, bizjet activity is comparatively low but still hitting record highs by historic standards.

Global

With most of September elapsed (1st – 24th September), business jet and turboprop sectors are down 3% compared to September 2022, 18% up on the same period of September in 2019. Scheduled airline sectors have moved 16% ahead of September last year, still 6% behind 2019. Global cargo aircraft sectors are 8% behind last year, slightly behind 2019.

Chart 1: Global fixed wing flights by sector, September 2023 (Note bizav includes turboprops).

Europe

In Week 38, ending 24th September, European business jet sectors fell 1% compared to the previous week, slipped 7% behind the same dates in 2022. Spain is an outlier in seeing more bizjet flights than in September last year. Busiest market France is trending 4% behind last year, 3% up on September 2019. The weakest European market is Germany, bizjet flights 8% down on four years ago, domestic bizjet flights in Germany slumping 19% vs 4 year ago. Even Russia’s domestic bizjet traffic has not fallen as far. In contrast, bizjet flights within Turkey are more than 50% up on where they were in 2019.

Chart 2: European Business Jet Country Flows, September 2023 compared to previous years.

North America

In Week 38, ending September 24th, North American business jet activity grew 3% compared to Week 37, trending 5% below the same dates in 2022. Teterboro is the busiest departure point but also relatively one of the weaker performers, activity is 8% behind last September, 1% behind September 2019. Compared to record-breaking rates last year, Las Vegas McCarran, Washington Dulles and Chicago Midway are seeing double digit declines compared to last September, Chicago Midway the only of the three behind September 4 years ago.

Chart 3: Busiest US bizjet airports, September 2023 compared to previous years.

Asia

So far in September bizjet activity is 17% ahead of September last year, 51% ahead of 2019. Top market India is 26% ahead of last year, triple digit growth compared to 2019. China is experiencing triple digit growth compared to last year, double digit growth compared to September 4 years ago. So far this month Bombardier jets are the most active aircraft type in the region, however, Gulfstream jets top in terms of departures. Airbus and Boeing types are flying less than last year, Boeing down 6% compared to September 2019.

Chart 4: Asia business jet countries September 2023

Middle East

Over 5,000 bizjet flights have departed Middle Eastern airports this month, 3% fewer than last September, although 41% more than September 4 years ago. Demand across the top airports is mixed, King Khaled and Al Maktoum seeing double digit growth compared to last year, Ben Gurion and King Abdulaziz double digit declines.

Chart 5: Middle East business jet airports, September 2023 compared to previous years.