WINGX’s weekly Business Aviation Bulletin.
Global bizjet flight activity is treading water at the same levels of October last two years, although this last week saw some much softer markets, notably Texas, which could be linked to early winter storms. In Europe, the Med is still a popular bizjet destination, but Central Europe is seeing a big drop in activity.
Twenty-nine days into October 2023, global business jet and turboprop activity is on par with comparable October last year, 1% below the highs of October 2021, 16% ahead of 2019. For just bizjets, the year-on year trend equal with last year, up 21% compared to 2019. Year-to-date bizjet sectors have fallen 4% compared to last year, although 19% ahead of 2019. Scheduled airliner sectors this month are 16% ahead of last year, 7% behind October 2019. Dedicated cargo operators’ activity so far this month is 6% down year-on-year, 2% behind 2019 levels.
Chart 1: Global fixed wing flights by sector, October 2023 (Note business aviation includes turboprops)
Bizjet activity in Europe this month is down only slightly behind last October, but only 9% ahead of 2019. Top market France is 1% ahead of last October, 5% ahead of 2019. Departures out of Sweden are busier than any October in the last 4 years, contrast Austria where activity is behind every October of the last 4 years. Activity out of Germany falling 11% behind last year, 8% below October 2019. The erosion of domestic flights in Germany is severe, domestic bizjet flights down 15% compared to October 2022, 18% down vs October 2019. Bizjet activity in Italy is up 40% compared to 4 years ago.
Busiest European airport Le-Bourget saw bizjet activity 1% below comparable October 2022, although 21% ahead of 2019. Trends at other airports are mixed, Farnborough and Milan Linate 10% and 11% respectively ahead of last year, Luton, Geneva, and Munich falling behind October 2019 activity levels.
Chart 2: Business jet activity by country, October 2023 vs previous years
In Week 43, ending October 29th, business jet activity originating in North America was down 2% compared to the previous week, 3% below the same dates last year. Florida is the busiest state so far this month, although activity is 4% behind last year. New Jersey is one of the few States with activity growth, 3% ahead of last year. There have been 1,203 bizjet flights between New Jersey and Florida airports this month, making it the busiest state connection from New Jersey. Flights from New Jersey to California airports are down by 5% compared to last year. With 119 flights, Teterboro – Van Nuys is the busiest New Jersey – California airport pair, although departures 8% down compared to last year.
Chart 3: North America business jet activity by US State, October 2023 vs previous years.
For the month of October, business jet flights were 1% behind comparable October 2022, still 20% ahead of 2019. Fractional and Private fleets had most growth, both operator types moving ahead of previous highs. Compared to October 2019, Fractional Operators are 51% busier. Corporate flight departments are flying 8% fewer flights than October 2022, 7% below October 2019.
Chart 4: North America business jet activity by operator types, October 2023 vs previous years.
Business jet activity is up 11% in terms of sectors flown so far this month compared to last year. Several markets are busier than any October in the last 4 years, including India, China and Japan. Flight activity in Singapore is 19% behind October last year, although well ahead of 2019. Conversely Hong Kong has rebounded 47% compared to last year, 11% behind October four years ago.
6,074 bizjet flights departed airports in the Middle East so far in October 2023, 2% more than comparable October 2022, 50% more than 2019. Several markets are lifting regional activity, namely United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar which are seeing activity ahead of any October in the last 4 years. Kuwait and Bahrain are weighing the region down, sectors down 15% and 34% compared to last October respectively. Bizjet departures from Israel are now down 19% compared to October last year, although 13% ahead of 2019.
Chart 5: Middle East business jet activity by country, October 2023.