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Global flights put new year slightly behind a comparable 2023
The last four-week trend shows a two per cent decline in global business jet activity but a lift in Europe according to WingX data.

According to WingX's weekly Global Market Tracker, Week 1 of 2024 (1-7 January) saw global business jet traffic rebound from the holiday period of the previous week by nine per cent, although flight sectors were three per cent behind the same dates in January 2023. Global business jet activity in the last four weeks is down two per cent year-on-year. Combined Part 135 and Part 91K activity rebounded four per cent compared to Week 52 in 2023, although it remained two per cent behind the opening seven days of January last year. Global turboprop sectors start this month slightly down (-0.1 per cent) compared to the opening seven days of January 2023. Scheduled airline sectors are 12 per cent ahead of the first seven days in January last year. Cargo sectors on the other hand are down by nine per cent.

Business jet sectors in North America have started 2024 five per cent behind January last year, although they jumped seven per cent ahead of Week 52 in 2023. In the last four weeks business jet activity is trending three per cent down year-on-year. Super midsize and ultra long-range jets have started the year two per cent ahead of January 2023, while super light and very light jets are seeing more than 10 per cent declines compared to January 2023.

Focusing solely on the US business jet market, there was a notable spike in demand on 2 January, reflecting the return from leisure destinations during the holiday period. Further evidence of this showed up at the top airports, with second-ranked Palm Beach seeing just seven fewer flights than usual top-ranked Teterboro. Miami Opa-Locka, Naples and Van Nuys completed the top five US business jet airports. With just over 8,100 sectors, Florida was easily the busiest US business jet state so far this month, with flight hours more than double second-ranked Texas. New York is the top destination from Florida airports, with West Palm Beach, Miami, Boca Raton and Naples the top origin cities. The Embraer Phenom 300 is flying the most flights out of Florida airports, although the Challenger 300/350 is flying the most flight hours.

In Europe, business jet activity rebounded 11 per cent compared to Week 52 in 2023, three per cent ahead of the opening seven days in January 2023. In the last four weeks business jet activity is trending two per cent down year-on-year. France surpassed 1,000 business jet flights in the first week of 2024, making it the top market but with activity three per cent below a comparable 2023. The UK was ranked second at the start of this week, although its activity is six per cent behind January 2023. By contrast business jet traffic in Spain has started 2024 26 per cent ahead of the first seven days in January 2023. Malaga was the busiest Spanish business jet departure spot in Week 1 of 2024, with departures 19 per cent ahead of a comparable 2023. Other leisure spots such as Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona and Ibiza airports saw gains compared to the first seven days of January 2023. Malaga to London was the busiest metro city flow, with flights 50 per cent ahead of a comparable 2023.

In Asia, business jet activity in Week 1 rebounded 28 per cent compared to Week 52 of 2023, although it fell two per cent behind the first seven days of January 2023. Aircraft management fleets were the busiest in the region, although sectors were nine per cent behind the same dates last year. Branded charter sectors grew seven per cent compared to comparable January 2023.

In the Middle East activity rebounded 18 per cent compared to Week 52 of 2023 and was two per cent ahead of the same dates in 2023. There was strong demand for business jets in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar at the start of the year, with sectors ahead of the same seven days in January 2023. Business jet activity out of Israel is 32 per cent lower than in Week 1 2023.

Richard Koe, WingX managing director, comments: "Global business aviation activity has started the new year slightly behind a comparable 2023, which itself was a rebound on locked-down January 2022. The US leisure market appears to be relatively weaker during the recent holiday period. In Europe, the UK and France markets were well back on last year, but this was offset overall by strong activity in Turkey and Spain."

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