According to WingX’s latest Business Aviation Bulletin, business aviation activity is currently outpacing 2019 numbers, with flights up 6% from two years ago in the first week of December. However, the business aviation data specialist claimed activity has slowed week to week, possibly reflecting incremental constraints from the introduction of the Omicron Covid variant, as well as usual seasonal variations.
The increase in the first week of December is “noticeably slower” than a week before, when global activity was up 14% from the same time last year, according to WingX. However, this is still better than scheduled passenger traffic, which is down 30% from last year’s levels. Business aviation traffic increased by 48 percent in the first week compared to the same period last year.
North America has accounted for 3.5 million of the 4.6 million business jet and turboprop flights so far this year, and activity is on par with that of last year. Business jet travel is up 3% year to date and 5% in December in the United States alone. In the United States, there was a 20% increase during the Thanksgiving season.
However, fractional operators saw a 13 percent increase in traffic in December compared to the previous year. Charters are slowing, with only a 1% increase this month.
So far, European business aviation flights are up 8%, but that’s still down from the 30% increase in November. In Germany, activity has returned to pre-pandemic levels, but in the United Kingdom, it has decreased by 10% in December. Flights are down 20% in Austria and Belgium, which are also experiencing lockdowns, compared to December 2019. Flights to Spain, on the other hand, have increased by 42%. Eight of Europe’s top markets are also up, according to WingX.
Flights in the rest of the world are down 4% in 2021 compared to 2019 levels, with Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Morocco performing the worst this year. Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, and Turkey are performing the best.