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Business jet activity enjoys strong rebound

Business jet activity in the first three weeks of March is 11% up on the same period last year

  • North America is driving the global business jet recovery
  • Flight activity month to date in the US is up 17% compared to last year
  • Only Europe still lags March 2020 when the imposition of lockdowns and travel restrictions sent business jet activity levels down 50%

The business jet rebound from lockdown lows is well-established as the market enjoys strong growth. Business jet activity in the first three weeks of March is 11% up on the same period last year.  Activity is within 10% of the first three weeks in March 2019.

Only Europe still lags March 2020 when the imposition of lockdowns and travel restrictions sent business jet activity levels down 50%. By contrast global scheduled airline activity is 30% down and 40% lower than in 2019 with Europe suffering a 75% drop on 2019 levels.

North America is driving the global business jet recovery with rolling 7-day average activity back at pre-pandemic pace last week – the 6,437 sectors flown on March 17th compares to 6,326 on the comparable day in March 2020 and 6,815 in March 2019.

Flight activity month to date in the US is up 17% compared to last year with Fractional operations, up 21%; Private owners and corporate flight department traffic up 15%; and Charters up 14%. Branded Charter operations in the US are up 16%, suggesting that we are now seeing record levels of activity.

Beyond the lockdown anniversary in Europe and North America, there is a rebound from the low points and the recovery towards normal activity levels. For Europe, the rebound is in early stages, particularly Western Europe. Outside Europe, normal flight activity has resumed. In the US, there are signs that business jet activity in 2021 may exceed 2019 activity in some States, particularly for the charter market.