Bizjet demand bounces back in up in Feb-24 year on year

Globally, bizjet flights were up 1% last week, slightly ahead of the flat last 4-week trend, a considerable improvement on the relatively weak demand in January. The US market is holding up, Europe is dipping compared to last year, the Middle East also, whereas bizjet demand in South America and Asia is well up on last year.

Global

For Week 9, through March 3rd, global business jet activity was up 1% YOY compared to Week 9 of 2023. 67,962 business jet sectors were flown last week, 8% fewer than the previous week. So far this year, 1st January – 3rd March, business jet and turboprop activity is 1% ahead of 2023. February was a relatively strong month for bizjet activity, flights up 4% YOY. Scheduled airline activity has grown 14% YOY, up 7% compared to 2019. Cargo sectors have fallen 3% compared to last year, although 24% ahead of 2019.

Chart 1: 1st January Ц 3rd March 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

46,467 business jet sectors were flown in Week 9 in the United States, 10% fewer than the previous week, 1% behind Week 9 in 2023. The last 4-week trend for the US is 1% behind of the same period last year.

Florida and California saw declines in week-to-week activity, Florida down 15% compared to Week 8, California down 6% compared to Week 8. In California, fractional operators saw a 14% increase in activity compared to Week 9 2023. The busiest airport Van Nuys, 2% ahead of Week 9 2023, John Wayne Orange dropped 3% compared to Week 9 2023. In Week 9 in Florda, Palm Beach topped the departure airport list, Bombardier Challenger 300 the busiest bizjet type.

Chart 2: Top 200 bizjet airport pairs with Van Nuys, Week 9 2024

Chart 3: US Bizjet operators by departures, previous 4 weeks. Note trends vs same dates in previous years (5th February Ц 3rd March, inflated due to leap year).

Europe

In Week 9, European business jet activity was on par with Week 8, 2% below Week 9 in 2023. The last four-week trend is trending 4% below the same four weeks last year. In the last four weeks, France is the top bizjet market in Europe, followed by the UK and Germany. Nice, Lyon and Grenoble are seeing double digit growth YOY. Light jets are the busiest bizjet type departing Nice in the last four weeks, London is the top connection city with Nice, 103 flights in the last four weeks, up 26% YOY. Almost half of the bizjet flights on the Nice Ц London route are branded charter operations, 17 active operators and 42 active aircraft across the last four weeks.

European turboprop activity in the last four weeks has fallen 1% compared to last year. Aircraft management fleets are flying the most, 3582 sectors in the last four weeks, 6% fewer than last year. Norway bucks the regional 4-week trend, turboprop activity has jumped 31% compared to last year, almost all turboprop flights out of the country are flown by air ambulance operators. In the UK, Biggin Hill leads for turboprop departures, activity 22% ahead of the same period last year.

Chart 4: European business jet operator types, 1st January Ц March 3rd 2024, note trends vs same dates in 2023.

Rest of World

Business jet activity in the Middle East in the last four weeks has fallen 9% compared to last year, although Week 9 activity was up 18% ahead of Week 8. At the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix last weekend (Thursday 29th Feb Ц Saturday 2nd March), 64 bizjet arrivals were recorded at OBB), 21 arrivals from the United Arab Emirates, 10 from Saudi Arabi, 7 from the United Kingdom. The Bombardier Global 6000 series had the most arrivals during the GP, followed by the Bombardier Challenger 600 series. Elsewhere, Jamnagar airport (VAJM) in India saw an influx of bizjet arrivals due to the wedding of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant. In the last four weeks the highest number of bizjet arrivals was 8 in one day, rising to 31 arrivals on March 1st, almost 5x higher than the previous peak. Bizjet flights within and from Africa were down 8% in the last week, still an improvement on the 27% drop over the last 4 weeks.