Last 4-week trend shows 2% decline in global bizjet activity, but a lift in Europe

Global business aviation activity has started the new year slightly behind comparable 2023, which itself was a rebound on locked-down January 2022. The US leisure market appears to be relatively weaker during the recent holiday period. In Europe, the UK and France markets were well back on last year, but this was offset overall by strong activity in Turkey and Spain.

Global

Week 1 of 2024 (January 1st – 7th) saw global business jet traffic rebound from the holiday period of the previous week by 9%, although flight sectors were 3% behind the same dates in January 2023. Global bizjet activity in the last 4 weeks is down 2% Year-on-Year. Combined Part135 & Part 91K activity rebounded 4% compared to Week 52 in 2023, although 2% behind the opening 7 days of January last year. Global turboprop sectors start this month slightly down (-0.1%) compared to the opening 7 days of January 2023. Scheduled airline sectors are 12% ahead of the first 7 days in January last year, cargo sectors on the other hand are down by 9%.

Chart 1: Week 1 2024 activity by sector, compared to 2023. (Business aviation includes turboprops and business jets)

North America

Business jet sectors in North America have started 2024 5% behind January last year, although rebounding 7% ahead of W52 in 2023. In the last 4-weeks bizjet activity is trending 3% down Year-on-Year. Super Midsize and Ultra Long-Range Jets have started the year 2% ahead of January 2023, in contrast Super Light and Very Light Jets seeing more than 10% declines compared to January 2023.

Chart 2: North American Business jet activity 1st-7th January 2024 vs 2023

Focusing solely on the US bizjet market, there was a notable spike in demand on the 2nd January, reflecting the return from leisure destinations during the holiday period. Further evidence of this showed up at the top airports, 2nd ranked Palm Beach saw just 7 fewer flights than usual top ranked Teterboro. Miami Opa-Locka, Naples and Van Nuys complete the top 5 US bizjet airports. With just over 8,100 sectors, Florida was easily the busiest US bizjet state so far this month, flight hours more than double 2nd ranked Texas. New York is the top destination from Florida airports, West Palm Beach, Miami, Boca Raton and Naples the top origin cities. The Embraer Phenom 300 is flying the most flights out of Florida airports, although the Challenger 300/350 is flying the most flight hours.

Europe

In Europe, business jet activity in Week 1 of 2024 rebounded 11% compared to W52 in 2023, 3% ahead of the opening 7 days in January 2023. In the last 4-weeks bizjet activity is trending 2% down Year-on-Year. France surpassed 1,000 bizjet flights in the first week of 2024, making it the top market, activity 3% below comparable 2023. The UK was ranked 2nd at the start of this week, although activity is 6% behind January 2023, contrast Spain where bizjets have started 2024 26% ahead of the first 7 days in January 2023. Malaga was the busiest Spanish bizjet departure spot in W1 2024, departures were 19% ahead of comparable 2023. Other leisure spots such as Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona and Ibiza airports saw gains compared to the first 7 days of January 2023. Malaga to London was the busiest metro city flow, flights 50% ahead of comparable 2023.

Chart 3: European Business jet activity by country, 1st Ц 7th January 2024 compared to previous years.

Asia & Middle East

In Asia bizjet activity in Week 1 of 2024 (1st Ц 7th January), rebounded 28% compared to W52 of 2023, although fell 2% behind the first 7 days of January 2023. Aircraft management fleets were the busiest in the region in W1 2024, although sectors were 9% behind the same dates last year, Branded Charter sectors grew 7% compared to comparable January 2023. In the Middle East activity rebound 18% compared to W52 2023, 2% ahead of the same dates in 2023. There is strong demand for bizjets in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar at the start of the year, sectors ahead of the same 7 days in January 2023. Business jet activity out of Israel in week 1 2024 is 32% lower than in week 1 2023.

Chart 4: Middle East business jet aircraft segments trends, Week 1 2024 compared to 2023.