Grey skies dampen European summer charters, despite spike in D Day VIP traffic

Despite the slowest start to June in the last 2 years, US bizjet activity remains robust, with activity significantly ahead of comparable June 2019. In contrast, the European summer is looking weaker, with just a 3% foothold over June 5 years ago. The D-Day anniversary lifted business jet arrivals into airports in the Normandy region of France. At the start of the party season in Ibiza there is a noticeable absence of bizjets from France and the United Kingdom.

Global

In Week 23 (3rd – 9th June), 70,613 global business jet sectors were flown, 1% below Week 23 in 2023. Global Part 135 & 91K sectors fell 4% compared to Week 23 in 2023. Month to date (June 1st 9th), global bizjet activity has fallen 5% compared to last year. Year to date the global bizjet trend is 1% behind last year. Scheduled airline activity this month is 3% ahead of last year, contrast dedicated freighter activity, falling 11% year-on-year.

Chart 1: 1st 9th June 2024, activity by sector. Business aviation = business jets only

United States

In Week 23 (3rd 9th June), bizjet activity in the United States was on par with Week 23 in 2023. In contrast to the US wide trend, sectors out of Florida fell 1% compared to Week 23 last year. Across the US, part 135 & 91K sectors grew 3% ahead of Week 23 last year.

This month (June 1st 9th June), business jet activity in the US has fallen 4% compared to last June, 8% below June 2022 although 33% ahead of June 2019. Top airport Teterboro is 9% behind last year, 9% ahead of 2019. Dallas Love Field is the second busiest US bizjet airport so far this month, 6% growth compared to last year. Chicago Midway has seen activity slip 5% below 2019. Midway’s declines appear to be coming from a lack of private flight activity, just 27 private flight department departures this month, 45% fewer than June last year, 39% below 2019. Corporate Flight Departments and Branded Charter fleets have also fallen significantly out of Midway, departures 44% and 41% below June 2019.

Chart 2: US Bizjet airports, June 2024.

Turboprop activity in the US has fallen 12% compared to June last year, although 20% ahead of June 2019. 5,200 Turboprop flights have been flown by Private Flight Departments this month, 19% fewer than last year. Branded Charter turboprop sectors have almost halved compared to last year.

Europe

In Week 23, European bizjet activity fell 6% behind Week 23 in 2023. Across the main markets, the United Kingdom and France saw sectors drop 4% and 8% behind W23 last year. In contrast Germany was 6% ahead of Week 23 last year. There were large declines in activity of aircraft on operating certificates (AOC), Europe-wide activity fell 17% year on year, the UK equalled this trend, Germany down 12% and France down 21% YOY.

In June (1st 9th June), bizjet sectors across Europe have fallen 3% year on year, -14% compared to 2022, although holding 3% above 2019. So far this month there are several outliers, notably the United Kingdom, Greece and Portugal. Spain, ordinarily a popular summer leisure market, has seen bizjet activity drop 8% below June 2019. Heavy rain in Mallorca this week forced the temporary closure of LEPA airport, so far this month it is Spains 2nd busiest bizjet airport, 2 flights behind top ranked Ibiza (LEIB). Nine days into June, Ibiza (LEIB) bizjet arrivals are 9% behind last year. Domestic Spanish flights to the island are down 8%, flights from Italy are up 9%. There appears to be a significant absence of arrivals from France and the United Kingdom, connections down 19% and 20% respectively.

Chart 3: Daily bizjet arrivals into Normandy airports 1st 9th July & total arrivals by airport.

Airports in the Normandy region of France saw a significant increase in business jet arrivals last week, owing to the D-Day 80-year anniversary. Between 1st 9th June, Caen-Carpiquet (LFRK) saw 52 bizjet arrivals, 17 flights into LFRK came from other airports in France, 17 from the United Kingdom. Busiest operator type into the airport was aircraft management fleets, 7 VIP Government transport arrivals recorded.

Across Europe, bizjets with operator certificates (AOC) are trending 13% below last year, 1% below 2019. Significant declines compared to June last year in France (-15%), Spain (-18%) and Netherlands (-26%). A quarter of AOC flights this month have been on light jets, although light jet activity falling 12% year on year. Entry level jet activity has fallen the most since last June, just 315 flights in the opening 9 days of this month, 34% fewer than last year.

Rest of World

In Week 23 there were large drops in bizjet activity compared to Week 23 one year ago. Middle East sectors fell 19% YOY, Africa fell 23% YOY and Asia fell 8% YOY.

Nine days into June, 2,180 bizjet sectors have been flown in Canada, 1% fewer than last year, Mexico seeing activity drop 9% compared to last year. Activity in the Bahamas is 3% ahead of last year, 90% of connections are to the United States, 2% more flights to the US this month than last year. Elsewhere bizjet activity in China is down 1% compared to June 2023.