Global bizjet demand trailing last year by 3% in Week 7 2024

Holiday bizjet traffic during Presidents´ Day shows demand is still quite robust in the US, only 2% below last year´s high point. Bizjet traffic in Europe is slumping, down 10% in week 7, deteriorating on the 5% decline in the last 4 weeks. Demand in Germany is wilting, but still high levels of traffic in Spain. Bizjet activity in the Middle East is down. Australia is still a growth market.

Global

For Week 7, through 18th February, global business jet activity was down 2% YOY, compared to week 7 2023. 71,422 business jet sectors were flown in the last week, 7% ahead of the previous week. So far this year (1st January – 18th February), global business jet and turboprop activity is 3% below last year, 40% ahead of 2019. During the same period, scheduled airline sectors are trending 7% ahead of last year, 14% ahead of 2019. Cargo sectors well ahead of 2019, down 4% compared to 2023.

Chart 1: 1st January 18th February activity by sector, compared to previous years. (Business aviation includes business jets & turboprops)

*WINGX added new sources for global flight data in Feb-24, backdated to Jan-23, which has modestly inflated ROW trends vs 2019.

United States

49,903 business jet sectors were flown in Week 7 in the United States, 8% more than the previous week, almost on par with Week 7 in 2023. The last 4-week trend for the US is 1% below the comparable period for last year. Year to date (1st January 18th February 2024), business jet activity in the US is 3% behind last year in terms of sectors flown, 26% ahead of 2019.

In Week 7, Teterboro was the busiest departure airport for bizjets in the US, 288 more flights than second ranked Palm Beach International. Las Vegas Harry Reid saw 1,034 bizjets depart in W7, breaching 1,000 weekly departures for the first time this year. Activity is likely inflated due to Super Bowl related traffic departing after the event concluded. Naples (KAPF) had a bumper week, departures 11% ahead of 2023. Overall, Florida saw activity down 1% vs last year, up 37% compared to the same week in 2019.

Chart 2: US bizjet departures by State, Week 7 2024

This Presidents´ Day weekend (Friday 16th Monday 19th) saw 27,904 business jet departures in the United States, 2% below the Friday Monday holiday period last year. The top international connection was to Mexico. Fractional operators were the busiest fleets during the holiday this year; NetJets flew almost 4,000 sectors across the Friday Monday period, with airports in Florida seeing the most connections.

Europe

In Week 7, European business jet activity was 2% ahead of the previous week, but 10% down compared to W7 in 2023. The last four-week trend is trending 5% below the same four weeks last year. W7 was the busiest week so far this year for bizjet departures out of France, up 9% on the previous week. Switzerland is seeing a similar ski-seasonal surge, bizjet sectors in W7 up 19% from W6. W7 saw 973 bizjet departures from Swiss airports, just 25 departures off the year’s high of W3, when the country hosted the WEF Annual Meeting in Davos.

Domestic bizjet sectors in Spain and Italy are experiencing 5-year highs. The Spain domestic bizjet market is 14% ahead of last year, 11% ahead of 5 years ago. Aircraft Management and Branded Charter fleets are busiest in Spain. The Cessna Citation Excel / XLS is the busiest bizjet, MadridBarajas to Barcelona El Prat the busiest airport pair. During the weekend (Friday 16th Sunday 18th), the hosting of the Munich Security Conference saw 116 bizjet arrivals into Munich and Oberpfaffenhofen airports. Activity across the whole of Germany has dropped 17% in W7 compared to the same week last year, Corporate Flight Department and Branded Charter fleets seeing the largest YOY declines.

Chart 3: Top bizjet origin cities into selective European ski resort airports* in Weeks 4 -7 2024. (*LFLB, LFLP, LOWI, LSGG, LSGS, LSZS)

Rest of World

Business jet activity in the Middle East in the last four weeks has fallen 11% compared to the same dates last year. In the last 4 weeks, bizjet activity in Saudia Arabia is 1% ahead of 2023, United Arab Emirates down 1% Year-on-Year. The last 4-week trend for bizjet flights in China has fallen 21% compared to last year, though busiest aircraft type Gulfstream G600/650 is trending 5% ahead of last year. Elsewhere bizjet activity in Singapore is 1% behind last year, Seletar airport departures down 3% YOY. Bizjet sectors in Australia are 19% ahead of last year, with Air ambulance/Medical the busiest operator type.