Business Aviation Activity Rising Slowly, WingX Says

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Global business aviation activity has improved, from a low of 3,600 flights per day in mid-April to 5,200 flights a day in May, although activity remains at least 60% below normal for the month, according to WingX Advance. 

“This recovery in business aviation is far more perceptible than in scheduled airlines,” WingX managing director  Richard Koe said. 

North America has contributed the most to a recovery trend, while Europe activity remains flat. 

“Continued improvement in the 7-day moving average activity since mid-April is encouraging, even if activity trends are still running at least 60% below normal in May so far,” Koe said. “It’s also clear that the current momentum in traffic is being operated by the turboprop market, with some increment in light jet flying but with most of the large cabin fleet inactive.” 

Behind the U.S. and Canada, the third busiest country is Australia, where flight activity—mainly turboprop—is 37% below normal. Germany is the busiest of the European markets, with flights down 63%. 

By aircraft segment, the large cabin, long-range jet segment has shown no sign of recovery from very low trends, while the smaller end of the market is showing “some resilience.” In the turboprop segment, the Caravan, PC-12 and King Air 200 are flying the most, at about 50% of normal levels, WingX said. 

Molly McMillin

Molly McMillin, a 25-year aviation journalist, is managing editor of business aviation for the Aviation Week Network and editor-in-chief of The Weekly of Business Aviation, an Aviation Week market intelligence report.