Overall market dips but leading bizjet operators hitting new highs

Global bizjet activity is now flat over the last 4 weeks compared to last year, falling behind the Covid surge in 2021, comfortably ahead of 2019. Bizjet demand in Europe is weakening towards 2019 trend. Middle East is weaker, with 15% drop YOY in the latest week, although notably the COP conference drew a spike in bizjet arrivals. The US is still relatively strong, especially for the largest operators.

Global

In Week 49 (ending December 10th), global business jet activity was 2% behind the same week in 2022, flat year-on-year over the last 4 weeks.

Business jet activity dropped at the start of December, flights down 4% compared to last year, although still 7% ahead of 2019. Year-to-date (1st January – 10th December 2023) business jet activity is 4% behind last year, still 19% ahead of 2019. Including turboprops, bizav activity is only 8% ahead of December 2019, 7% behind December 2021. Scheduled airlines are flying 14% more sectors this December than in December last year, 9% behind 2019. Dedicated cargo operator activity has started the month slower than last year, sectors 11% behind, cargo operations trending 2% ahead of 2019.

Chart 1: Global fixed wing flights by sector, December 1st 10th 2023. Note business aviation includes turboprops

North America 

In Week 49, bizjet activity in North America grew 1% compared to Week 48, 3% behind the same dates in 2022, 6% behind the same dates in 2021. The 4-week trend in North America is 1% behind the same dates last year. 48,000 bizjet flights departed US airports in Week 49, Florida was the busiest US state, flights 2% ahead of the same dates in 2022, other states, namely Texas, California and New Jersey seeing declines compared to the same dates last year. New York was the busiest departure city in W49, although departures were 3% down compared to the same dates last year. Contrast Miami, where bizjet departures are running 18% ahead of the same December dates last year.

Chart 2: US Bizjet Operators, 1st 10th December 2023 compared to previous years.

Year-to-date bizjet activity in the United States is trending 5% below last year, still 17% ahead of four years ago. Ten days into December, bizjet activity has dropped 6% compared to last year, although 3% ahead of four years ago. Miami Opa-Locka, Scottsdale and Naples are the only major bizjet airports to start the month ahead of last year. Washington Dulles, Van Nuys and Westchester County are seeing declines compared to four years ago.

Europe

In Week 49 (ending December 10th), business jet activity in Europe grew 1% compared to the previous week, and was flat on the same dates in 2022. In the last four weeks the trend has trailed 2022 activity by 2%. The UK was the busiest bizjet market in W49, followed by Germany and France, all three seeing declines in flight activity compared to the same dates in 2019.

Year-to-date, business jet activity in Europe has fallen 7% compared to last year, still 7% ahead of four years ago. Ten days into December and bizjet activity has fallen 4% behind 2019, also 4% behind last year. Several aircraft models are flying more than the start of any December in the last four years, namely the Phenom 300, Citation Latitude and Gulfstream G600/650.

Chart 3: Business jet activity by aircraft type, Europe, December 1st 10th 2023 vs previous years.

Asia

In Week 49, bizjet activity in Asia grew 4% compared to Week 48, although 1% behind the same dates in 2022. Bizjet activity in the region in the last four weeks has dropped 8% compared to the same dates last year. 10 Days into December, activity is 3% behind comparable December last year, 34% ahead of 2019. India and Indonesia start this month ahead of any December in the last 4 years, China 18% behind 2019.

Middle East

In Week 49, bizjet activity in the Middle East fell 6% compared to the previous week, 15% below the same dates in 2022. 10 Days into December, activity is 12% below December last year, although 39% ahead of four years ago. Top market United Arab Emirates is seeing activity ahead of the start of any December in the last four years, largely due to the hosting of COP 28 where there was an influx of arrivals on the opening day.

Chart 4: Bizjet Arrivals into Dubai Airports (OMDW, OMDB, OMSJ, OMDM) during the last 4 weeks.