Business jet traffic ahead of Thanksgiving 2019, trending up this November YOY

Thanksgiving holidays in the US were ahead of the 2019 holiday, also sustaining a pickup in November vs November last year. European bizjet traffic was flat compared to 2019, some 7% off the comparative traffic in 2019. As in Europe, both Asia and Middle East are seeing activity soften this November compared to last year.

Global

Business jet and turboprop sectors are 2% ahead of comparable November 2022, 16% ahead compared to four years ago. Focussing on just business jets, activity this month is 1% ahead of last year, 19% ahead of four years ago. For Week 47, bizjet flights were up by 6% compared to the same dates last year. Year-to-date, global bizjet activity trails last year by 4%, although 19% ahead of 2019. Scheduled airline sectors are 15% ahead of November last year, trailing 9% behind four years ago. Dedicated cargo operators are flying 7% fewer flights compared to November last year, 1% ahead of four years ago.

Chart 1: Global fixed wing flights by sector, 1st – 26th November 2023.Note business aviation includes turboprops

Europe

32,461 Business jet flights departed European airports 26 days into November, 7% fewer than November last year, 0.4% below November 2019. Despite the regional downturn this month, fractional operators are busier than any November in the last four years. Paris Le-Bourget to Farnborough is the busiest fractional bizjet operator airport pair this month, flights 69% ahead of last year. The Embraer Phenom 300 is the busiest aircraft type within fractional fleets this month, activity ahead of any November in the last 4 years.

Chart 2: European Fractional aircraft types, 1st 26th November 2023 compared to previous years.

North America

So far this month North American business jet activity is 3% above comparable last year, 19% ahead of four years ago. Busiest airport Teterboro is experiencing a dip, 1% fewer flights compared to last November, 4% fewer flights than November 2019. Contrast Washington Dulles, bizjet activity is ahead of any November in the last 4 years. Fractional operators are flying the most out of Washington Dulles, 17% ahead of last year, 35% ahead of four years ago. New York is the busiest bizjet metro connection with Washington Dulles airport this month.

Chart 3: North America business jet airports, 1st 26th November 2023 vs previous years.

In the United States, Week 47 ending November 26th, saw bizjet activity drop 18% compared to the previous week, largely due to the Thanksgiving Holiday. 22,000 business jet flights departed United States airports during the 2023 holiday weekend (23rd 26th November). This year’s holiday saw just over 200 fewer flights compared to the same Thursday Sunday period last year, although 12% higher than the 2019 holiday. Light Jets were the busiest aircraft types this holiday, followed by Super Midsize. Florida Georgia was the busiest inter-state flow during this years holiday, followed by California Nevada. 47 Flights made West Palm Beach to Teterboro the busiest airport pair over the holiday period, Teterboro the overall busiest departure airport. Scheduled airline activity over the Thursday Sunday period this year fell 8% compared to 2019, although almost 5,000 more flights compared to last year.

Chart 4: US Thanksgiving Holiday 2023 top 5 bizjet airport pairs vs previous years.

Chart 5: US Thanksgiving Holiday Bizjets vs Scheduled airline activity 2019 2023.

Asia

Through the 26th November, business jet activity in Asia has dropped 4% below last year, 45% ahead of 2019. The majority of bizjet flights across the region are under 90 minutes in length, flights of this duration are 13% below last November. Long haul flights (6-12 hours) are also behind last year, sectors 3% down compared to last year.

Middle East

Activity in the Middle East this month has fallen 13% compared to last November, 40% ahead of four years ago. Aircraft Management and Branded Charter fleets are flying less than November last year, although ahead of four years ago. Corporate Flight Department fleets are flying less than any November in the last four years.

Chart 6: Middle East business jet activity by operator type, 1st 26th November 2023.