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Jet sectors down against 2022, but up on 2019
There may be still some growth in large-cabin, long-sector flying, but generally the first quarter of 2023 has seen a modest cooling compared to the record-breaking levels of 1Q22.
European business jet markets, 1 January – 27 March, 2023 compared to previous years.
Read this story in our April 2023 printed issue.

According to WingX's weekly Global Market Tracker, worldwide business jet sectors in week 12 of 2023, 20-26 March, amounted to 68,543 sectors, a three per cent decrease compared to week 11 and a nine per cent decrease compared with the same dates in 2022. The global trend for the last four weeks is eight per cent behind the same dates last year, and global Part 135 and Part 91K business jet activity in week 12 was 17 per cent below the same dates last year.

Between 1-27 March, business jet and turboprop activity amounted to just over 393,000 sectors, seven per cent fewer than the same 27 days in March 2022 but still nine per cent ahead of 2019. Year to date (1 January to 27 March), business jet and turboprop activity is two per cent behind last year, although 12 per cent ahead of 2019. Focussing just on business jet activity so far this month, flight sectors are eight per cent down compared to last year but still 14 per cent ahead of 2019.

In week 12, 53,520 business jet sectors departed North American airports, which is two per cent less than week 11 and 11 per cent less than the same dates last year. Over the last four weeks, activity is 10 per cent below the same dates last year. Part 135 and Part 91K activity during week 12 was down five per cent compared to week 11 and 17 per cent below the same dates in 2022.

Business jet departures from North America are down 10 per cent so far this March compared to a comparable 2022 but 13 per cent above comparable 2019. Year-to-date business jet sectors are down five per cent compared to last year but 13 per cent above 2019. Year-to-date international business jet connections are up two per cent compared to last year and nine per cent ahead of 2019. Domestic flights, which account for 88 per cent of flights this year, are down six per cent compared to last year but 14 per cent ahead of 2019.

Domestic business jet flights are down seven per cent so far this year in the US compared to last year although they are17 per cent ahead of 2019. The average sector length of domestic US business jet flights this year is 1.57 hours, with Teterboro the busiest departure airport. Teterboro-Palm Beach is the busiest domestic airport pair so far this year, and the Bombardier Challenger 300/350 is the busiest aircraft.

Transatlantic business jet sectors between North America and Europe are up one per cent so far this March compared to a comparable 2022, and are 20 per cent ahead of 2019. With over 100 more transatlantic departures than the second ranked airport, Teterboro is again the busiest departure point; its transatlantic departures are up six per cent compared to March 2022 and are 28 per cent ahead of March 2019.

In Europe, 9,632 business jet sectors were flown in week 12, which is four per cent less than in week 11 and eight per cent less than the same dates in 2022. In the last four weeks activity is eight per cent below the same dates in 2022.

Business jet sectors so far this year are down eight per cent compared to last year but five per cent above 2019. Excluding Russia, the YTD trend is five per cent behind last year but eight per cent ahead of 2019. 65 per cent of business jet flights this year have been less than 90 minutes in duration; sectors under 90 minutes are down four per cent compared to last year but five per cent ahead of 2019. Ultra-long haul flights of 12 hours or more are up 12 per cent compared to YTD 2022 and show triple digit growth compared to 2019.

YTD the top markets are seeing declines compared to last year. Business jet departures from airports in France, the busiest market in Europe, are eight per cent behind last year. UK business jet departures are down six per cent versus Q1 2022. Germany has seen sectors fall four per cent behind for the same period, which takes activity seven per cent down on Q1 2019. Departures from Russia are down 63 per cent compared to last year and 62 per cent down compared to 2019.

In week 12 of 2023, March 20 through March 26 , activity in Africa was down nine per cent compared with the same dates last year, with Asia up three per cent, Middle East down 13 per cent and South America up 20 per cent.

In the rest of world region there have been just under 64,000 business jet sectors so far this year, which represents an increase of 21 per cent over 2022 and 78 per cent more than 2019. Brazil is the busiest market, with sectors 17 per cent ahead of last year and triple digit growth compared to 2019. India, United Arab Emirates and Argentina are also experiencing triple digit growth compared to 2019. In contrast, tracked business jet activity in China is down four per cent compared to 2019.

WingX managing director Richard Koe says: “The first quarter of 2023 has shown a modest cooling compared to record-breaking Q1 2022, although the sharper decline in the US charter market has eroded a substantial amount of the gains compared to pre-pandemic 2019. European business jet gains compared to 2019 have narrowed to five per cent. There is still some record-breaking growth in large-cabin, long-sector flying. Business jet activity in the UAE has more than doubled versus Q1 2019.”

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