US business aviation activity hits post-pandemic high

By Kate Birch
According to WINGX’s weekly Global Market Tracker, seven-day business jet activity in the US soars as Europe traffic falters...

Business aviation data specialists WINGX Advance reports that the number of business jet flights made on March 15 in the US hit a second highest total since January 2020.

According to WINGX, business aviation activity is holding up in March 2021, with 177,835 flights in the first half of the month down just 2% compared to the first half of March 2020 – the period before widespread travel restrictions were imposed.

Global airline activity is down 38% compared to the first two weeks of March 2020. Global cargo activity continues to grow, up 17% on March 2020 in terms of sectors operated.

The tracker data showed that more than 80% of worldwide business aviation flights in March originated in North America. The United States is recovering fastest, while Europe is still struggling. In the UK, for instance, business jet sectors are down 62%.

Contrasting state business jet fortunes

“Business aviation in the US is remarkably buoyant, with clear growth on the pre-pandemic period in 2020,” said WingX managing director Richard Koe

“The US is starting to see an accelerated recovery from the winter pandemic, with both scheduled and business aviation activity opening up, and charter activity setting some new records, especially in Florida. 

“It’s a different story in Europe, with a long road to run, and international leisure trips all but illegal. This slowdown is very clear in Western Europe, with contrasting openness to the East, business jets being used more than ever within Russia.”

Florida business jet movements have grown 16 per cent this year. California is the second busiest state for business jet traffic. However, it is a mixed picture across the US, with New Jersey flights down 40%, with New York remaining flat.

The cargo market is proving the most resilient sector, growing by 0.2% in 2020 compared to 2019, while commercial flights were down 50% and business aviation down 20%.

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