According to WingX's weekly Global Market Tracker, global business aviation activity was down by 70 per cent coming into Tuesday 28 April, for the month to date when compared to the same period in 2019.
Flights in Europe and North America closely resemble the global trend, and flights in Asia are still down by almost 70 per cent this month. Business aviation activity in South America is down by 60 per cent. Oceania is the most resilient region, with flights declining by 48 per cent in April.
Some good news can be identified in the incremental pick-up in business aviation flight activity: sectors flown in the preceding seven days exceeded the activity of the previous seven days by 19 per cent globally, with the same comparison showing a 13 per cent growth trend in Europe and North America, and a doubling of flights in Asia. Globally the moving seven-day average activity increased on every day since 15 April. Comparably, the same seven-day average trend is still slightly declining for global scheduled aviation activity.
Just over 2,000 business aviation aircraft were operational on a daily basis worldwide in the last week, under a third of the normally operational fleet, but still comparing favourably to the 80 per cent grounding of commercial aircraft. Regionally, the more business aviation resilient markets were Canada, Australia, Norway, Sweden and Brazil. Italy, Spain, Mexico and France registered the biggest drops in flight activity in April.
All business jet segments continued to see big drops in flight activity, with lighter jet segments around 70 per cent below normal, and large cabin long range aircraft flying at least 80 per cent fewer sectors. The turboprop segment continues to be the most resilient, with sectors down by just under 60 per cent. The busiest aircraft was the Cessna 208 Caravan, followed by the PC-12 and King Air 200, 90 and 350. The busiest jet platform was the Challenger 300.
WingX managing director Richard Koe comments: “The incremental growth in business aviation activity in the last 10 days appears to correlate with the cautious relaxation of virus-suppression policies in various regions of Asia, Europe and North America. With scheduled airline capacity still largely locked up, those business aviation operators that have kept fleets in operation may be stepping in to serve pent-up demand. As wider measures are adopted to relax the lockdown, we expect to see some recovery in flight activity, especially in domestic markets, which may continue to favour lighter aircraft.”