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MEBAA (Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association)
MEBAA (Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association)
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WingX crunches the numbers to measure viral impact
All aircraft segments have seen severe declines, with ultra long-range most impacted, ops down by 40 per cent. The King Air 200 is the busiest type, down by 19 per cent. Citation Latitude hours are up this month.

According to WingX's weekly Global Market Tracker business aviation departures from Europe were down by 34 per cent in March 2020 compared to March 2019. Overall, there were 17,800 fewer flights flown month on month. Declines have accelerated towards the end of the month, with the last few days seeing close to 50 per cent reductions.

Activity in Italy has been most affected, with just over 1,000 departures during the entire month, 70 per cent below March 2019 activity. Activity in normally the busiest market France was down by 43 per cent. Germany and Switzerland saw declines of over 30 per cent. Flights in the UK fell by 23 per cent. Over the whole month, flights in Sweden were up, by 1.3 per cent.

Le Bourget, Nice and Geneva have seen the largest declines in business aviation activity this month, all seeing declines of at least 35 per cent. Of the leading airports, Biggin Hill has had the east impact, with March activity down by only 1 per cent. Flight activity out of Malaga was slightly up this month.

All aircraft segments have seen severe declines, with ultra long-range aircraft most impacted, operations down by 40 per cent. Super light and very light jet activity is down by around 25 per cent. The King Air 200 is the busiest aircraft, with activity down by 19 per cent. Citation Latitude flight hours are up this month.

Branded charter and private flight departments cut back activity by 20 per cent in Europe over the month, whilst aircraft management companies registered a 50 per cent fall in flight activity. Ambulance traffic more than doubled.

In the United States, business aviation flight activity fell by 30 per cent compared to March 2019. That decline equates to more than 100,000 business aviation sectors month on month. The first half of the month saw modest turbulence, with declines accelerating from there; on 31st March flight activity fell 66 per cent compared to the same date in March 2019 (and that compares Tuesday with a Sunday).

Globally, downward trends in business aviation are quite even, with North American flight activity down by just under 30 per cent, Asia and Europe seeing trends closer to 35 per cent decline.

Richard Koe comments: “The abruptness of the decline in business aviation activity this month is only comparable to the effect of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption back in 2010, only with much longer and more severe consequences. WingX expects a trough in flight activity in April, which may see some countries completely shut down flights. With an optimistic outlook for ending virus containment, we might see renewed demand for flights by the summer, at which point business aviation may have a window of opportunity to meet pent-up demand whilst the airline capacity is still parked.”

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