Bizjet demand wallowing as summer season starts

This week saw a marked drop-in flight activity in some key geographies, notably California, Germany, Saudi Arabia, China and Morocco. It was notable that the blue riband event for European bizav, the Monaco Grand Prix, drew 15% fewer bizjet visits than in 2019.

Global

In Week 21 (20th – 26th May), sixty-nine thousand global bizjet sectors were flown, 5% behind the previous week, down 2% compared to week 21 in 2023. Global Part 135 & 91K sectors fell 4% compared to Week 21 in 2023. As May draws to a close, global bizjet activity is down 3.5% compared to May last year, though still 31% ahead of 2019. Over the same period, scheduled airlines are flying 1% more than last May, 9% more than May 5 years ago. Dedicated freighter activity is 4% behind last year, 16% ahead of 2019.

Chart 1: 1st 26th May 2024, activity by sector. Business aviation = business jets only

United States

In Week 21, bizjet activity fell 10% compared to the previous week (Week 20), 3% below Week 21 last year. Activity in Florida fell 6% compared to the previous week, on par with Week 21 in 2023. Demand in California and Texas also fell this week, 8% and 4% behind flight levels in Week 21 2023 respectively.

So far this month US bizjet activity has fallen 4% compared to May last year, 7% behind May 2022. The busiest city pairing this month in the US is Las Vegas Los Angeles, flights on the route are down 2% compared to last year, down 14% compared to May 2022. Other domestic pairs seeing YOY declines are Los Angeles San Francisco and Boston New York. Flights from the US to Bermuda this month are down by 19% compared to last year.

Chart 2: US Bizjet country flows, 1st 26th May 2024.

Super Midsize and Ultra Long Range jet activity in the US is running hot, flight activity well ahead of the last 5 years. In the Ultra Long-Range jet segment the Gulfstream G500/550 is the most popular type, flight activity 2% ahead of May last year. 2nd Ranked is the Gulfstream G600/650, flying more than any May in the last 5 years. Busiest cross-country connection on ULR jets is Los Angeles New York, busiest international connection is to the United Kingdom.

Europe

In Week 21, European bizjet activity rose 10% compared the previous week, 1% behind Week 21 in 2023. Aircraft operating on operating certificates (AOC) jumped 13% compared to the previous week, although 9% behind Week 21 in 2023.

So far in May European bizjet activity is 1% below May last year, holding steady at 7% above 2019. Domestic bizjet activity in Italy is ahead of the last 5 years, contrast Germany where bizjets are flying 23% fewer domestic flights than in May last year. Berlin Munich is the busiest domestic bizjet route in Germany, although activity slipping 6% below last year.

Bizjet arrivals into Nice significantly picked up towards the end of last week, due to the hosting of the F1 Grand Prix weekend in Monaco. During the Grand Prix, held 24th -26th May, 315 arrivals were recorded into LFMN airport, 8% fewer than during the 2023 Grand Prix weekend. Looking back over the last 5 years, the 2022 edition of the race saw the most bizjet arrivals across the race weekend dates; since then. Elsewhere Geneva plays host to the EBACE conference this week, so far this month 1,072 departures out of LSGG airport, 8% fewer than last year.

Chart 3: Monaco F1 Grand Prix 2019 through 2024.

Rest of World

In Week 21, bizjet activity in the Middle East fell 5% compared to the previous week, on par with last year. Sectors in Africa fell 13% YOY and Asia fell 8% YOY. In contrast sectors in South America grew 12% compared to Week 21 in 2023. Elsewhere this month bizjet sectors in China have fallen 20% YOY, still well ahead of previous years. Bizjet sectors in the United Arab Emirates are 6% ahead of last year, in sharp contrast Saudi Arabia falling 28% YOY.