US large jet market strong, Asia and Middle East weaker, Europe slumping

Once the holiday fluctuations are accounted for, November was a flat month for business jet activity, though fractional flying is still at record pace, particularly in large cabin flying, with Florida and Texas the bizjet hubs in the US. In Europe, November saw a slump in demand, with the full month seeing lower activity in France and Germany than back in November 2019.

Global

November 2023 set a new record for global business jet and turboprop activity, sectors 2% up on last year, 20% ahead of 2019. The record owes to increased turboprop flying, these aircraft operating 146,069 sectors last month, a 7% increase over the previous highpoint in Nov-21. Business jet activity was also up on last year, but 3% short of the November 2021 high, still 23% clear of pre-pandemic November 2019. Scheduled passenger airline sectors recovered to within 7% of November four years ago, 16% ahead of last year. Dedicated cargo operator activity fell 5% compared to last November, still 8% ahead of November four years ago.

Chart 1: Global fixed wing flights by sector, November 1st – 30th 2023.Note business aviation includes turboprops

Europe

Business jet activity in November fell 6% compared to last year, with some key markets like Germany, France and Austria seeing less activity than four years ago. Germany appears to have the worst of the decline, although notably both fractional and Private flight departments are flying more than any point in the last 4 years; the charter and corporate flight departments are taking the brunt of the decline.

Chart 2: Business jet activity by country, Europe, November 1st 30th 2023 vs previous years.

North America

There were 235,719 bizjet departures from the North America region (including Mexico) in November 2023, 1% more than last year, 23% more than four years ago. Activity in Canada, as well as several Caribbean countries was ahead of every November in the last four years. Bizjet activity out of Puerto Rico is up 68% compared to 4 years ago.

Chart 3: Bizjet activity within North America region, 1st- 30th November 2023 vs previous years

Within the US, there was steady growth in the busiest of States, Florida, departures inching up 1% on last year. Texas was next busiest in the US, also seeing increased activity vs last year. November saw a significant upswing in activity between California and Nevada, 23% more than last year. Across aircraft segments, it´s notable that US activity in Super-Mid and Ultra-Long business jets set new records for the month of November.

Asia

Business jet activity in Asia finished November 5% below November last year, 42% ahead of November 2019. Aircraft Management fleets were the busiest Operator Types in November, although 8% fewer sectors compared to last November, 25% ahead of 2019. Just over half of bizjet flights departing from the region last month were international connections, whilst domestic flights trending 57% above November 2019.

Middle East

In the Middle East business jet activity in November fell 13% below last year, 44% ahead of 2019. Saudi Arabia bucks the regional trend, bizjets operated more flights this November than any other November in the last four years. The declines in November YOY are most obvious in Israel and UAE.

Chart 4: Middle East Business jet activity by country, November 2023 compared to previous years.