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WingX Advance

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Some regions bounce back faster as lockdowns lift
WingX has been diligently crunching the numbers throughout the pandemic. Its latest figures indicate that Europe is recovering quite well, while Africa and Asia are lagging, and Oceania is almost back to normal.

According to WingX's weekly Global Market Tracker, Europe is the fastest recovering region in terms of business aviation activity so far this month, with jet and turboprop sectors down by 43 per cent through 23rd June compared to June 2019.

The last week has seen a 24 per cent increase on the previous week's activity, and the rolling seven-day average daily activity is up 70 per cent compared to the start of the month. Germany is the most recovered market, with France now also recovering faster. Switzerland, Turkey and Austria are regaining ground, with the UK and Spain still floundering, as quarantines in both countries clearly slow their recovery.

Almost all the flight activity is still within national borders, with domestic German traffic only 1 per cent down YOY, and flights within Switzerland up by 40 per cent compared to June 2019. Flights within France are now down by only 20 per cent, but Le Bourget and Nice are seeing very slow recoveries, with month-to-date trends barely 40 per cent of normal activity levels. Swiss airports are doing better, with Zurich regaining more than 70 per cent of normal activity. Istanbul and Belgrade are showing some YOY growth. Luton and Farnborough reflect the UK's difficulties, with departures down by 70 per cent, although Biggin Hill is relatively thriving at 63 per cent of normal activity.

Business aviation activity in North America is trending down 29 per cent below normal, with a plateau in seven-day average flights in the last week, but still up 20 per cent since the start of the month. The US is doing slightly better, at 26 per cent below par this month, with comparable weekend traffic close to 85 per cent of comparable weekends in June 2019. As in May, June continues to see stronger recovery in the south east and centre and weakest on the east coast. Flight activity in Florida and Arizona is higher than it was for June 2019. Colorado is close to normal. Texas is down by close to 25 per cent, and both California and New York trail at 30 per cent.

There is also considerable variance among operators, with NetJets down one third, but Flexjet flights well up YOY. From West Palm Beach, the busiest airport worldwide, flights are up almost 25 per cent so far in June, YOY. Scottsdale Arizona also continues to see YOY growth in flights. Busiest routes appear to be getaway flights to Mexico, Florida and Las Vegas. Busiest aircraft are the PC-12 and Caravan, with the Challenger 300 up the ranking, also the Phenom 300, at 80 per cent of normal activity, Nextant flights are down only 11 per cent this month, and Citation CJ3 sectors are only 5 per cent off of June 2019 figures.

Business aviation activity in Asia is down 28 per cent this month compared to June 2019, although flight hours are down by 44 per cent. Also, rolling seven-day average activity has dropped 10 per cent since mid-month, which appears to be linked to several further virus outbreaks mid-month. Flights in India are flat YOY, although hours are down by 25 per cent, while in China flights are 45 per cent down. Flight volumes are within 10 per cent of normal for Hong Kong, and only 17 per cent down in Japan. The Oceania region is back up to more than 90 per cent of normal activity, with South America trailing only 11 per cent and Africa much further behind, with flights lagging by 41 per cent.

WingX MD Richard Koe: “Lockdown-lifts have accelerated in Europe this month and the return in confidence is evident in the quicker recovery in flight activity. In North America, however, the overall recovery has cooled, and although certain US states are seeing growth in activity, this may well be reversed if virus outbreaks require further lockdowns. This is clearly the case in Asia where mid-month virus outbreaks have stalled recovery. Clearly we are entering a delicate phase in the recovery, but assuming restrictions continue to lift, we expect pent-up demand for flights to materialise this summer.”

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