Europe is the fastest recovering region in terms of business aviation activity so far this month, with jet and turboprop sectors down by 43% through 23rd June compared to June 2019. The last week has seen a 24% increase on the previous week´s activity, and the rolling 7-day average daily activity is up 70% compared to the start of the month. Germany is the most recovered market, France now also faster recovering. Switzerland, Turkey, Austria are regaining ground, with UK and Spain still floundering, quarantines in both countries clearly slowing their recovery.
Almost all the flight activity is still within national borders, with domestic German traffic only 1% down YOY, and flights within Switzerland up by 40% compared to June 2019. Flights within France are now down by only 20%, but Le Bourget and Nice are seeing very slow recovery, with month-to-date trends barely 40% of normal activity levels. Swiss airports are doing better, with Zurich regaining more than 70% of normal activity. Istanbul and Belgrade are showing some YOY growth. Luton and Farnborough reflect the UK´s difficulties, departures down by 70%, although Biggin Hill is relatively thriving at 63% of normal activity.
Business aviation activity in North America is trending down 29% below normal, with a plateau in 7-Day average flights in the last week, but still up 20% since the start of the month. The US is doing slightly better, 26% below par this month, with comparable weekend traffic close to 85% of comparable weekends in June 2019. As in May, June continues to see stronger recovery in the South East and Centre, and weakest on East Coast. Flight activity in Florida and Arizona is higher than it was for June 2019. Colorado is close to normal. Texas is down by close to 25%, and both California and New York trail 30%.
There is also considerable variance among operators, with NetJets down one third, but Flexjet flights well up YOY. From West Palm Beach, the busiest airport worldwide, flights are up almost 25% so far in June, YOY. Scottsdale Arizona also continues to see YOY growth in flights. Busiest routes appear to be getaway flights to Mexico, Florida and Las Vegas. Busiest aircraft are PC12 and Caravan, with Challenger 300 up the ranking, also the Phenom 300, at 80% of normal activity, Nextant flights are down only 11% this month, and Citation CJ3 sectors are only 5% off comparable June 2019.
Business aviation activity in Asia is down 28% this month compared to June 2019, although flight hours are down by 44%. Also, rolling 7-day average activity has dropped 10% since mid-month, which appears to be linked to several further virus outbreaks mid-month. Flights in India are flat YOY, although hours down by 25%, and in China, 45% down. Flight volumes are within 10% of normal for Hong Kong, and only 17% down in Japan. Oceania region is back up to more than 90% of normal activity, South America trailing only 11%, Africa much further behind, flights lagging by 41%.
Richard Koe comments: “Lockdown-lifts have accelerated in Europe this month and the return in confidence is evident in the quicker recovery in flight activity. Whereas in North America the overall recovery has cooled, and although certain US States are seeing growth in activity, this may well be reversed if virus outbreaks require further lockdowns. This is clearly the case in Asia where mid-month virus outbreaks have stalled recovery. Clearly we are entering a delicate phase in the recovery, but assuming restrictions continue to lift, we expect pent-up demand for flights to materialise this summer.”
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