Caribbean demand, Florida thriving, Europe stagnating
According to WINGX`s weekly Global Market Tracker :
Hamburg, February 18th, 2021 – Global business aviation traffic is down by 11% for the first half of February, 14K flights fewer than February last year. Demand for corporate aviation has been steady over the last month, whilst scheduled airline activity continues to deteriorate, 53% lower than YOY in February so far. Cargo activity continues to increase activity YOY. European activity is weakest, commercial airline activity down by 68% in February, with business aviation flights sliding by 22%. Business aviation trends continue to diverge widely from region to region, with North America 10% below YOY, Asia just 1% under, flights in Africa down by 8%, and activity up in South America and Oceania.
In North America, 7-day trending activity was back up to 8,600 sectors daily in the run up to Valentine’s Day, the highest since the New Year, and higher than at any period from April through August last year. Private flight activity is down by most in February, 15% below normal. Aircraft Management fleets are flying 4% below normal, with Branded Charter activity the most robust, just 1% off last year’s trends. The busy flying was in the Caribbean, with double-digit growth in flight activity in US Virgin Islands, Antigua Barbuda and Guadeloupe. In contrast, other regional spots were much quieter, much less activity at Sint Maarten and Saint Barthelemy. Compared to the US, where activity is just 8% down, flight activity in Canada was more than 40% below.
Within the US, business aviation activity in Florida is driving the market forward, with 10% more activity than last February. Other US States with lots of growth in business aviation in February include Colorado, Arizona, South Carolina. In contrast, business jet activity out of California and Texas is down double-digit. Flights out of New York are down only 5% but New Jersey has relapsed, business aviation movements down 41% in February. The busiest inter-state connection is Florida and Georgia, an 18% increase in YOY flying. The pattern of busiest airports has not changed much in the last 12 months, with West Palm Beach, Miami-Opa Locka and Naples breaking activity records, Scottsdale and Centennial all doing better than pre-pandemic, whereas Teterboro, McCarran and Hobby Houston are well below normal.
In Europe, overlapping and unpredictable border restrictions are constraining recovery in flying. The UK is most affected, with 60% reductions in February activity, the lowest ebb since the height of the pandemic last year. Luton, Farnborough and Biggin Hill are the busiest three airports but all with activity down two thirds. Bournemouth is the only leading business aviation airport to have growth this month. The UK Charter market is 62% less active than February 2020, with only 247 flights from the UK to the rest of Europe, although there are YOY increases in outbound flights this month to Lithuania, Latvia and Hungary. Declines have also been heavy in France and Germany, with Switzerland’s inbound business jet flight down more than half. Notably, domestic business jet traffic in France and Italy is at normal levels.
Outside Europe, there is strong growth in business jet activity in Russia and Turkey, the majority domestic, maintaining trends this year. In the wider European market, there is growth in Hawker 700-950 jet activity and for King Air 200. Falcon 2000 and Global 6500 activity is down well over 40%. Outside Europe and the US, the busiest business jet worldwide is the Challenger 600 platform, flights only 1% behind last February. The Legacy 600 is flying 14% more than usual and the Lear 45 is another aircraft type with increased usage. There is more business jet activity than last year in China, Brazil, Nigeria. There are still sizeable lags in business jet activity in Saudi Arabia, whereas flights in the UAE are up this month, mainly with Russia, Turkey, also Germany and Maldives.
Richard Koe comments “The US market continues to look pretty solid for business aviation demand in 2021, with Florida the hub, California and Texas still lagging. The Caribbean is also seeing some strong leisure traffic. Although Western Europe continues to relapse, big domestic markets in Russia and Turkey, Nigeria and Brazil, all clearly have strong demand for business aviation aircraft.”
Longer holiday boosting leisure demand for business jets
According to WINGX`s weekly Global Market Tracker
Hamburg, January 14th, 2021 – A surge in business aviation traffic just after New Year, as travellers came home from Christmas holidays, has bolstered flight activity in the first 2 weeks of 2021. Compared to the same fortnight in 2019, global business aviation demand is down by just 1%, although trends have slowed in the second week of January. Scheduled passenger flights over the same period are down by 45%. Cargo operations are trending up by 5% so far this year, compared to 2020. This month kicks off a long recovery road for the aviation sector, following a 45% fall in global fixed wing activity in 2020, commercial airlines operating at under half 2019 levels, business aviation more resilient, 20% below 2019.
The Christmas and New Year holiday period demonstrated the resilience of business aviation in responding to leisure demand. Mid December saw a significant pick-up in flight activity, peaking on 22nd-24% December, with each day seeing at least 10% increase vs the same Christmas Day run-up in 2019. Return trips after New Year were concentrated around the 1st and 2nd January, both days seeing 30% more activity than same dates last year. For every region apart from Europe and Africa, there was an increase in business jet usage from mid-December through the first week of January. Charter and Aircraft Management companies flew more, with private flight department travel down only 4%.
The US market provided the most significant boost to business aviation usage over the last 4 weeks. Florida was the epicentre, with jet and prop departures up by 23% on pre pandemic levels. By far the busiest connection is between Florida and New Jersey; even since January 3rd, well since the holidays, flights are up 41%. New Jersey activity is still trailing almost 20%, and business aviation is ailing in California, 15% below normal. During the holiday period, charter activity was particularly strong, flights up across the country by 9%. Apart from the main airports in Florida, there were spikes in business jet activity from White Plains, Westchester, Scottsdale, Centennial and Salt Lake airports. Flights between Miami-Opa Locka Executive and Teterboro are up 100% since mid-December.
Europe has weathered a much slower period of business aviation activity, particularly since the holidays ended. Even during the holidays, flight activity stagnated in major markets such as UK, France, Germany, Italy, with almost no ski traffic. There was strong growth in business jet traffic from and within Russia and Turkey. Destinations in Greece, Latvia, Serbia, Cyprus and Malta saw more business jet traffic during the holiday period than in previous years. Flights from Germany to Spain were up by 50% for the two days before and after New Year. Arrivals into Nice were up by over 50%, arrivals into Luton down more than 50%. Since the New Year, activity has slumped, down by 21%. The UK is worst off, business aviation flights off by 48%, though still more resilient than airline traffic, down 78% YOY.
Outside Europe, some countries have sustained growth in flight activity even since the holidays, the US slightly up, and demand tracking above the same period in 2020 for Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Bahamas, China. Business jet traffic to and from the Maldives is up almost three times in the last week, compared to January 2020, a sign that holidays are getting extended. The United Arab Emirates is also seeing more business jet visitors than ever, with movements at Dubai’s Al Maktoum up by 100% in the last week. Smaller jets continue to be most in demand, flying 40% of all departures since the start of year, and operating more hours than January last year. Midsize jets are also up on last year. All the slowdown is coming from the large jets; Global Express activity is down 30% year on year.
Richard Koe comments “The surge in business aviation activity peaked just before Christmas and just after New Year, but longer holidays also appear to be extending robust leisure demand into the first two weeks of January. The exception is Europe, where harsh lockdowns have suppressed activity, with a few bright spots during the holidays tapering off sharply in the last two weeks. Looking ahead, we would expect the market to see a mid-winter relapse, but still more resilient than commercial airlines.”
Christmas surge in business jet traffic
According to WINGX`s weekly Global Market Tracker :
Hamburg, 07/01/2021 – Following a surge in business jet demand over the Christmas holiday period, the year-on-year trend in global flight activity came in around 11% below December 2019, the best comparative performance since the Pandemic broke out. At its peak of just over 12,000 flights on December 23rd, the rolling 7-day average daily activity surpassed the previous post-March high point. By contrast, scheduled airline traffic was down by 48% this December. Since the pandemic, scheduled passenger movements are down by 63%, whereas business aviation – jets and props – flew 29% less than in 2019 over the same period. Global cargo operations are up by 6% since March and trended up by 16% in December YOY.
Two thirds of worldwide business aviation activity in December originated in the US, these flights down by 10% YOY, an improvement on the 16% YOY decline in November. Charter activity continued to be robust, sectors down by 7% YOY, branded charter flight hours up by 2% YOY. Aircraft Management operations were also robust, just 6% off, inflated by 3rd party charters. Private operations are lagging, 17% below normal, largely due to still-idle corporate flight departments. On a geographic basis, Florida shone as the busiest State, with 12% more flights than in December 2019. Flights into Arizona were up by 10% YOY. California is the laggard, where continued lockdown measures have suppressed recovery at 80% of normal. Texas got a lot closer to recovery in December, departures down by 6% YOY.
The driver for the Christmas holiday surge from the US was clearly demand for getaway locations. Flights from the US to Mexico were up by 17%, and other Caribbean destinations saw a major rebound in US tourists: arrivals into Turks and Caicos were up 41%; 15% up to Sint Maarten; 32% growth to Costa Rica; almost 70% growth in flights to Antigua and Barbuda versus December 2019. Departure points were strongest from airports in Florida, with Naples, Miami-Opa Locka and West Palm beach all seeing more than 20% increased activity YOY, Scottsdale business aviation departures up by 30%, Salt Lake getting 19% more arrivals than in December 2019. Teterboro still managed to be the busiest airport for business aviation in December, but departures are tracking 45% less than normal.
In Europe there were 40,000 business aviation sectors operated in December, some 6,000 fewer flights than in December 2019, a drop of 13%. As with the US, this marks a rebound on 20% declines in November, regaining the recovery path in October. The resilient sector is Charter, with branded charter operators flying 7% below normal, but up 1% in hours. Private operations, mainly aircraft owners, were also resilient, more than 90% of normal. Cargo-specific business aviation aircraft were 18% busier than last year. The growth didn´t come from the leading markets; Departures from France and Germany fell close to 20%, Italy down 25%, UK down 30%. The market was buoyed by Spain, Russia and Turkey, respectively up in terms of flights by 1%, 5% and 20% YOY. Flights within Turkey were up 25%, and there was also strong growth in connections from Turkey to Russia, UK, Albania, Greece.
At the airport level, across Europe, the busiest airport in December was Le Bourget, but activity was down 29% YOY, with Linate, Ciampino, Munich equally weak, and Luton standing out at 40% fewer departures YOY. Farnborough and Geneva continued to stagnate 20% below normal, but Zurich and Biggin Hill were both within 10% of last year. The growth came out of Nice, flights up 7%, Vnukovo, departures up 12%, and Ataturk, flight activity up by 40%. The biggest increases came on flights from Moscow to Dubai, St Petersburg, and into Western Europe via Nice and Riga. Flights from Spain to Belgium and Germany were up 50% in December. Further flung connections with growth during the Christmas period included UK to UAE and Russia-Maldives.
Worldwide, four business jet segments flew more in December 2020 than in December 2019: Very Light Jet; Entry Level; Light Jet; Midsize Jet. Heavy Jets flew 19% fewer sectors YOY, Ultra-Long range jets flew almost 30% fewer hours and Bizliner traffic was down 46%. The Phenom 300 was the busiest light jet, sectors down by 3%, hours up by 7%. Hawker 700-900 aircraft also few more hours, as did CJ1 and Nextant. Demand for Caravan, King Air and PC-12 was pretty close to normal. The Challenger 300/350 flew at 88% of usual, and the Challenger 600 was busiest large jet, activity 16% down. The Gulfstream GV/500 flew 5,400 missions in December, 23% fewer YOY.
Richard Koe comments “The first half of December was stagnant but the holiday period demonstrated the enduring demand for business aviation to reach leisure getaway destinations. This is obvious in the Caribbean for the US market. In Europe, the lockdowns have suppressed this pent-up demand to a large extent, with the ski season postponed at best. In Russia and Turkey, stronger flight activity suggests that business aviation is filling in gaps left by erosions in schedule services.”
Milano Prime and BMW renew their partnership with new full-electric cars for business aviation flights
November 25th, 2020 – SEA Prime, a company of the SEA Group, which with the Milano Prime brand is the sole airport manager of the business & general aviation infrastructures for Linate and Malpensa airports and BMW continue and consolidate the historic partnership by increasing the offer of services for customers of the leading airport in business aviation in Italy and among the first in Europe.
Milano Linate Prime’s fleet of vehicles dedicated to business aviation flights is enriched with two new BMW i3s. BMW Group’s first fully electric model, BMW i3 represents the synthesis of the group’s approach to sustainable mobility: from production using 100% renewable energy, to zero-emission circulation, up to the reuse of various materials and recycling of 95% of car components at the end of use. The adoption of the two BMW i3s for ever greener mobility is part of SEA Prime’s commitment to sustainability in the Milan Linate and Malpensa airports accredited to level 3+ of carbon neutrality by ACI Europe.
“We are proud to announce the renewed collaboration with BMW, which allows us to offer excellent services to our customers and to pursue SEA Prime’s sustainability objectives,” said CEO Chiara Dorigotti. “We therefore continue to guarantee quality and safety: essential factors in recent periods, which have contributed to the recovery of business aviation traffic at Milano Prime.”
“The collaboration with SEA Prime gives us the opportunity to be present in a strategic situation for the city of Milan,” said Federico Izzo, BMW Marketing Director, “where we have the opportunity to communicate our brand values to an exclusive target. The presence of BMW i3 is an excellent element that adds value and premiumness to the service offered. “
The partnership is part of a consolidated relationship over the years, which began with the opening of the BMW Business Center in Milan Prime in Linate in 2016, featuring 5 meeting rooms with modular spaces also open to external customers looking for quality time and space in a reserved place in Milan
Europe slips back, US gaining modestly
According to WINGX`s weekly Global Market Tracker :
Hamburg, October 21st, 2020 – Global business aviation activity is down by 16% in the first three weeks of October 2020 compared to same period in 2019. The trend remains far more resilient than for commercial airlines, which have seen a drop of 57% in October YOY, a deficit of 933,000 sectors vs October 2019. Year to date, the respective bizav and airline trends are 24% and 52% deficits vs 2019. Regionally, Europe has stronger trends in business aviation than the US, but this month they are converging as Europe weakens and the US modestly improves. Asia is relatively stable at 10 points below normal, whilst flights out of Latin America and Africa are trailing some 20% below normal.
As virus concerns mount, European business jet activity has slipped back as October progresses. As predicted, leisure demand is dimming, and corporate travel is not yet coming back to the market. Rolling average trends in sectors flown have declined 5% during the first 3 weeks of October. Flight hours are down by 17%, and for sectors over 3 hours, activity is down by 33%. For these longer sectors the decline has been most severe from Spain, United Kingdom and France, over 40% in October 2020 compared to October 2019. There are some exceptions, with October YOY growth in long sectors flown to and from Turkey, Cyprus, Greece, Portugal.
Shorter sectors, less than 3h, are most robust, less than 10% decline in the first 3 weeks of October. Some countries have seen an increase YOY in these sectors, notably Italy, Turkey, Austria, Russia, Sweden. Whereas from France and Spain, even short sectors are trailing by over 20%, and from UK and Netherlands, more than 40% drops. The UK is now the European backmarker, flights trending down by 32% in October YOY, and by 41% for the period since March this year. So far in October, the London area has the biggest decline in bizav, with Luton activity down by 50%, Farnborough by 37%, Stansted by 33%. Biggin Hill and Oxford are the outliers, both airports seeing growth in YOY activity this month.
North America, including Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean, is maintaining trends over the last couple of months, flights down by 16%. There is considerable divergence, with Mexico still 50% below normal, similarly severe declines for Bermuda, Bahamas, and other parts of the Caribbean. The US, with an 88% share of regional flight activity, has an October activity trend of -14%, with a small but consistent improvement coming since September. Charter demand is buoying the market, with branded charter sectors down by only 7%, and charter hours up YOY vs October 2019. Fractional operations are also improving, activity down 5% this month. The big decline is in Private operations, which also includes corporate flight departments. This points to well-known weakness in business travel.
Regionally in the US, the varying pattern of activity favours a few States, with flights out of Florida up by 9%, Colorado getting 20% more visitors this month vs last year. Arizona, South Carolina and Oregon are also seeing more bizav activity YOY. California is inching back to normality, with flight sectors down by 10%, half the deficit we saw in September. The North East US is also finally improving, with flights out of New York down by 13%, flight hours down just 4%. New Jersey remains a backmarker, flights down more than 40%.
At an airport level, regional trends are reflected at Teterboro, still the busiest airport, but flights trending down 54%, Dulles trailing by 37%, McCarran likewise, This contrasts with strong growth in YOY business jet and prop departures from Florida’s leading airports Palm Springs, Miami-Opa Locka, Naples. Scottsdale and Salt Lake City continue their growth and this month Van Nuys is also up.
Outside Europe and North America, there continues to be a mixed picture, big declines in India, Saudi Arabia, gains for Qatar, Nigeria. China has an increase of 22% in sectors flown this month, although flight hours are still down close to 20%. Across all these countries, the best performing aircraft segments are turboprops and very light jets, activity 10% off. Light Jet activity is down 18% this October, with Midsize activity down 20%. Super Midsize activity has slipped back this month, flights down 34%, but Heavy Jet activity is holding up at 26% below. Ultra-long range jets are flying 34% fewer sectors this month, although flight hours are down by over 40%.
Richard Koe comments “Increasing efforts to suppress a winter virus wave are blunting flight recovery in Europe, with some notable country and airport exceptions. In the US, trends are improving modestly, and Florida continues to be the ballast, with charter demand pretty robust throughout the country. Outside the core markets, activity trends are 20% below, with exceptions like China, but even there, flight hours are trending well below last year.”
According to WINGX`s weekly Global Market Tracker :
Hamburg, September 16th, 2020 – Global business aviation movements are trending down by 12% so far in September, an improvement on the YOY declines of 20%, 18% and 16% for June, July and August respectively. Business aviation activity continues to be more resilient than commercial aviation, with commercial sectors down 57% and 60% respectively for the US and Europe this month, a deterioration on some very limited recovery in August. For Bizav, 65% of global activity in September has been US-based, with YOY trends wavering at around 13% below YOY. In the next busiest market, Europe, activity has slid back this month, business aviation sectors 6% behind September 2019, contrast the 3% bounce in August.
Charter demand is buoying the recovery in flight activity in the US; flight hours by branded charter operators are down 12% for the year but have bounced back in the summer and are up 4% so far this month. The regional pattern is varied, with charter operations way behind at historically busiest airports like Teterboro, McCarran Las Vegas and Oakland, but activity out of Van Nuys is 5% ahead YOY, and there were much bigger gains in charters in the last fortnight from Miami-Opa Locka, West Palm Beach and Nantucket. Branded charter operations from the US to Bahamas are up 11% this month. The most popular aircraft are King Air 350, Citation XLS, PC-12 and there is notable growth in charter activity on Citation X and Lear 60 jets.
There are also some signs this month of flight activity emerging from US States as economic activity emerges from lockdowns. From California, business jet and prop activity is down by only 6% this month, having stagnated 15% below normal through most of August. Relatively, the last 2 weeks has seen a strong pick up for New York, now 12% below versus its 30% YOY deficit last month. In contrast, business aviation demand out of neighbouring New Jersey is moribund, still 50% below normal. Texas has shown little improvement so far this month, but Florida has rebounded, with the Labor Day effect generating 17% more activity through the first 2 weeks of September. Colorado continues to attract more business jet travellers, and arrivals into Arizona are up 4% this month.
In Europe, the charter market is also relatively robust this month, with Switzerland, Turkey and Russia all seeing significantly increased YOY sectors operated by branded charter operators. Smaller countries like Serbia and Czech Republic have also had a big jump in charters in September. The overall charter market in Europe is flat in terms of sectors, 2% down in terms of flight hours. The offset comes from steep declines in charter demand in the UK, France, Spain, Greece. Charter flights from Nice and Le Bourget are trailing around 15% YOY. Charter flights within Italy, Germany and Spain are ahead of September 2019. The first fortnight in September saw a 50% YOY jump in charters from Italy to the UK.
Across all mission types, September activity shows continued preference for small and midsize jets versus larger cabin, and this is reflected in flight hours, twice as depressed as flight sectors. Ultra-Long Range jet sectors, for example, are down 18% In September, with flight hours down by 32%. Conversely, Super Light jets are flat in terms of flights, slightly ahead for hours. The strongest performing segment in Europe is Very Light Jet, sectors up by 9% so far in September, mainly due to charter demand. The older Entry Level segment is also flying more than last year, CJ2 picking up strong charter demand. In the midsize class, Challenger 300/350 is busiest, with charter activity within 5% of normal. The older Hawker 800 platform is also doing well in the charter market.
Richard Koe comments: “The European market is showing predictable slowdown as leisure demand winds up, although the light jet charter market has stayed resilient. That may change in the second half of the month as holidays end. The US market is improving on its recent YOY trend, with the boost coming from charter operations. A key question for the industry going in to Q4 is whether the new first-time users of business aviation will stick. The planned cutbacks in regional airline services next month may provide some incentive.”
Recovery subsides as summer ends; Labor Day also a damp squib
According to WINGX`s weekly Global Market Tracker :
Hamburg, September 9th, 2020 – Ninety thousand business jet and turboprop flights have been operated in the first 8 days of September, 8% decline versus same period of September 2019, a deficit of around 7,000 flights. Comparing the last 8 days with comparable 2019 days, the delta is twice as large, just under 16% YOY. The most recent rolling 7-Day average is 11,273 daily flight departures, down from the post-March high point of 11,728 flights, but well above the April trough of 3,500 flights per day. Since March 1st, global business aviation flights are down 35% compared to last year. This trend is still far more resilient than scheduled aviation, 64% behind last year’s activity since March, and still 57% off so far this month.
The 7th of September marked Labor Day 2020, the TSA noting the largest number of scheduled passengers handled at US airports since March, even though less than half the usual volume. Business aviation activity, for the comparable Friday to Monday, was down by 16%, a drop of 5,000 flights. Flights within the US over the 4 days were down 19%, connections with Canada were down 65%, Mexico only 4% off, and there were big YOY increases in flights from the US to Bahamas, Turks and Caicos. A handful of US States saw some increase in flight activity during the holiday: Idaho, Oregon, and significant growth for Montana, and Virginia. At an airport level, biggest YOY increases were recorded at Salt Lake International, Dallas Love Field and Denver Centennial.
In Europe, where just under 20% of worldwide business aviation flights have operated this month, the August surge has given way to a decline as the summer ends. Comparing 1st through 8th of September, jet and prop flights are down by 3.5%, 9% down on a comparable day basis. In contrast, scheduled aviation activity is down 56% in Europe so far this September. For business aviation, this month is seeing a relapse in activity from top market France, and a slump in flight activity from the UK and Spain, respectively 18% and 24% adrift of September 2019. Flights from Germany are down just 1% so far this month, but in contrast to double-digit growth in August. Austria has so far sustained its summer YOY growth, and Croatia still benefits from late summer leisure travel, but arrivals into Greece are down by 13%. The biggest YOY growth trends are apparent in Turkey and Russia.
The busiest airport in Europe is, as usual, Le Bourget, but activity is trending down 22% for September. Likewise, there are now steep declines for Nice, with Geneva also seeing the end of its late summer surge. Farnborough and Luton are still trailing by 20%, in contrast to Biggin Hill, which has carried its record August activity through into September, flights up by 15% in the first 8 days of the month. Vnukovo, Olbia, Munich, Ataturk and Vienna are other airports with large gains compared to September 2019. In terms of connections, international flights have seen the biggest slowdown, with Italy-UK one of the few exceptions. Domestic travel is still showing some buoyancy, with growth in bizav flying within Germany, France, Sweden and Italy. Flights within the UK are down by 13% YOY.
North America, with declines in both Canada and Mexico steeper than in the US, and Europe, are easily the worst-performing global regions for bizav activity in September. Other regions, which capture less than 10% of total business jet sectors, are stable or above 2019 activity levels. In terms of fleet application, 91% of last year’s globally active fleet has flown so far this month. Light jets are the motor for the recovery, 28% of all sectors flown and at 98% of September 2019 activity. Very Light jets are also in demand, 3% under par. In Europe, Citation Mustang flights are up by 9% so far this month. It’s still a very different story for the large cabin jets, with Heavy and Ultra Long-Range Jet sectors down by over 20%. Gulfstream 600/650 activity is down 18%, Falcon 900 sectors down by 30%.
Richard Koe comments: “Predictably, the end of the summer holidays saw a drop-off in leisure flying and, with scant corporate travel to make up the difference, overall business aviation flight activity has already started to soften in September. The resurgent virus has pushed governments into slowing, and in some cases reversing the opening of the economy, and the result is likely to be a deterioration in further demand as the month goes on. It´s still an open question how much of the corporate travel demand which remains is able and willing to switch from scheduled to business aviation.”
Europe sustains recovery momentum, US activity plateaus
According to WINGX`s weekly Global Market Tracker:
Hamburg, September 3rd, 2020 – European business aviation users galvanised market activity in August, lifting activity 3% above traffic levels in August 2019, the equivalent of 1,845 additional sectors flown. Flight hours were down, attesting to the shorter sector trend throughout the recovery. There was also a dip in activity mid-month, coinciding with a raft of unexpected travel quarantines, but by the end of the month, average 7-day daily activity was at 2,344 flights, almost six times the the low point back in April. For the period from April to September, European business aviation activity is still down by 34% compared to 2019, but that compares favourably to commercial airline traffic, 77% down over the same period.
The continued recovery in business jet and prop activity in Europe is coming from stalwart markets in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, with France maintaining YOY improvement throughout the month. Turkey and especially Russia have seen a big turnaround in flight activity during August, well ahead of August 2019. Central European markets like Czech Republic are well up. Croatia stands out as the European summer hotspot for August, although flight connections have faded fast since quarantines were imposed late in the month. Elsewhere, activity to and from Sweden was 10% down in August, with international connections far below normal. Greece was also 10% behind this month, but recovered fast in the last fortnight, apparently the most popular late summer holiday destination.
August was a faltering month for business aviation recovery in North America, with the month ending 21% behind August 2019. The US domestic market has done slightly better, back up to 81% of normal activity for the full month. The US trend fell away in the second half of August, the month ending with a rolling 7-day average of 7,347 flights, 5% down on the traffic we saw mid-month. Weekend travel has been strongest, with activity above 90% of normal this month, whereas weekday travel is stalling at 80% of usual. California and Texas are back to being the busiest US States, flying almost a third of all US sectors in August, but still lagging 16% behind YOY activity. The full-month trend confirms stagnant trends on the East Coast, strong growth to getaway locations, from Utah to Wyoming, with Florida treading water 8% below. The stand-out decline this month is Hawaii; traffic levels down by 65% YOY.
The busiest airport worldwide this month was Dallas Love Field, averaging around 100 daily departures, almost 10% up YOY. Normally the global hub for business jet travel, Teterboro is amongst worst affected by the pandemic, gradually recovering to 50% of normal activity this month. Airports across the ´getaway´ States have impressive growth rates: Aspen, Scottsdale, Centennial, Salt Lake. Flights from the United States to various Caribbean destinations are also well up this month – Turks and Caicos, Dominican Republic, US Virgin Islands, St Martin. Back in Europe, busiest airport Nice registered almost 70 departures a day, 7% below normal. It was the busiest ever August for bizav activity at a select few European airports including Biggin Hill, Bodrum, Vnukovo, Zurich. Meanwhile the main hubs continued to struggle, with both Le Bourget and Luton seeing 15% less traffic this month YOY.
Worldwide, the PC-12 was the busiest business aviation aircraft, flying over 1,000 sectors a day, 8% down YOY. Specialist PC-12 operator Royal Flying Doctors logged a 30% increase in YOY sectors in August. Jetfly’s PC-12 fleet was much busier in Europe this August than last year, although PlaneSense, the leading US PC-12 operator, was some way behind its YOY trend. The busiest jet worldwide in August was the Challenger 300, recording over 15,000 sectors, three quarters of them within the United States, that volume down by 12% YOY. Flexjet was the busiest Challenger 300 operator and maintained its YOY growth rate since June. In Europe, there was a significant increase in Challenger 300 charter flights, especially within the UK, France, and Germany.
Richard Koe comments: “August saw the overall market edge further towards recovery, with marked variation between Europe and the US. Further ahead in the pandemic curve, European countries have substantially opened their economies, and belatedly, tourism has been rebooted. With June and July flights concentrated into a short August window, YOY activity is consequently higher. The US market is still some way behind, but as the public health crisis recedes, there may now be a quicker upturn. The imminent Labor Day holiday may provide some evidence for that.”
Europe busier than August last year, US trailing well behind.
According to WINGX`s weekly Global Market Tracker :
Hamburg, August 20th, 2020 – Global business aviation activity hit a new post-March high in the last few days, averaging 11,500 sectors a day. In the last 6 months, the sector has lost 844K sectors compared to the same period of 2019, a 37% drop in operations. Comparably, scheduled airlines have flown 9.5M fewer flights, reflecting a drop of 65%. After an initial uptick in the Spring, Cargo operators are down about 10% over the period. As a proportion of global fixed wing activity, business aviation typically has 12% of the traffic, which rose to 31% in May and is now around 17%, reflecting its ongoing resilience. Comparing the first halves of August in 2020 and 2019, worldwide bizav activity is currently trailing by 16%.
The bounce in business aviation demand in August is down to the European market, with month-to-date sectors surging 2% ahead of the same period last year. Central and Eastern Europe, less affected by renewed travel restrictions, has seen a release of significant pent-up demand. Business jet and turboprop flights from Germany are up by 17% this month, Switzerland up by 21%, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, all with flights up by at least 25%. Croatia is clearly getting a lot of the holiday traffic, with arrivals up by almost 50%. A large share comes from Germany, which also has a spike in visitors holidaying to Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands.
Virus concerns and renewed restrictions appear to have closed off the summer season in Spain, bizav activity down 8% so far in August, and 20% down from the peak of its recovery in mid-July. Barcelona, 22% behind for the month, managed to get to 90% of normal during the Grand Prix last weekend. And Mallorca seems to have weathered the restrictions, bizav arrivals still up 10% this month compared to last year. Of the other leading markets in Europe, the UK continues to lag but only by 3%, with its recent quarantine on arrivals from France seeing a pre-deadline rush. UK-France connections since then have predictably fallen acutely. For UK travellers, Greece appears to be the current beneficiary of the rolling European quarantines, with UK outbound arrivals up by 80% so far this month.
The US is now well behind the European recovery curve, with 19% deficit in flights so far in August comparing to 21% decline in July. That reflects the stagnation in key US States like California, where flights are still down by 17%, and New York which has been stuck at a third below normal all summer. Texas is starting to pick up, back to 87% of normal activity this month, but Florida is going backwards; having been up in June and July, flights so far this month are down 2%. Demand has also slowed in previously buoyant Arizona. In contrast, the more remote US States like Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Utah are getting lots more visitors than normal. As examples, business jet arrivals into Aspen are up 40%, Telluride arrivals up more than 90%, contrast Denver, arrivals still down by 37% this month.
The busiest aircraft in the US is still the PC-12, operating at close to 90% of normal. The workhorse business jet is the Challenger 300, flights down by 15% this month. A number of smaller business jets are relatively more in demand, with the Hawker Beechcraft 400, including the Nextant, only 3% off normal activity, same for the CJ3. The heavy jets are still much less active than mid and light but recovering, within 25% of normal activity this month. Behind this fleet activity, some operators have found some growth in the market whilst others are trailing heavily. Fractional operations are trailing almost 20% but Flexjet is bucking the trend with strong growth. Charter operators are struggling on the East Coast, but some nationwide operators, like XO Jet, are well above par this month.
Outside the US and Europe, business aviation in Asia is closing in on pre-pandemic levels of activity, with Australia just up, India just down, and business jet flights from and within China up by 16% compared to August last year. Other global growth spots include Brazil and Colombia, where activity seems to be weathering the virus, Israel, which is now slightly ahead of last year, the UAE, with flights almost 50% ahead of normal, and in Africa, business aviation flight activity is up in South Africa and Nigeria. On the other side of the coin, business aviation demand in Mexico is flatlining at less than half normal activity, with similar low-points for the Bahamas, Singapore, Japan, Argentina.
Richard Koe comments: “The recovery in business aviation activity this summer has turned stop-start in the last month. If the US follows the same pandemic recovery as Europe, there should be a strong pent-up recovery in early Fall. Whereas the comeback to-date in America is still at the remote getaway stage, the year-on-year growth in European activity is setting new records for August. This good news should be taken cautiously because it looks like a concentration of delayed holiday and leisure trips; it’s not sustainable and there is still very little sign of a recovery in the corporate customer.”
Whilst US recovery ebbs, European bizav surges in August
Hamburg, August 12th, 2020 – According to WINGX`s weekly Global Market Tracker, over the last 30 days, through 11th August, global business aviation activity has trailed last year by 17%, with Europe the most resilient region, flights down by only 5%. In the first 10 days of August, the overall picture has not changed much but European bizav activity has significantly brightened, showing a 0.1% increase in sectors flown compared to August 2019. The deadweight has been the US market, where the recovery stalled in early July. Only in the last few days has some momentum returned, regaining the 7-day rolling average activity from end of June. Since then, the US has seen a YOY deficit of just over 75,000 business aviation flights.
There has been very strong pent-up demand for bizav flights in several countries in Europe, most notably Croatia, activity up 50% YOY; Czech Republic seeing 30% more flights vs August 2019; flights from Russia up by 26%; between 15% and 20% YOY growth in flights in Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands; and busiest market France getting 5% more flights YOY. The UK is still down by 5% this month, but that marks a big improvement from the 30% decline in UK activity during July. Only Spain has gone backwards; the country had seen a significant bounce in July, was actually ahead YOY, but the trend in August has receded to 10% decline YOY. Worst off in August is Italy, with bizav flights still trailing by 20% YOY.
Ninety-seven percent of the bizav flights flown in Europe so far in August have had destinations within Europe. Transatlantic connections this month are down by 60%. The biggest intra-regional gains have come from flights within France, 1,558 in the first 11 days of the month, an increase of 25% YOY. The busiest connection is from Paris to the south of France, with flights from Le Bourget to Nice up by 12%, and from Le Bourget to Cannes, an 85% YOY increase. Getaway holiday destinations in Corsica, Brest, Brittany have hit record numbers. In neighbouring Germany, domestic activity is also well up YOY. Munich is the busiest German airport, 8% growth in flights, then Schoenefeld, activity up 20%. Sylt is the most popular domestic getaway, arrivals up almost 50%.
In the US, the slowdown in June’s precipitous recovery in business aviation activity is a result of lockdown 2.0, especially in the country’s primary user regions in California, Texas, Florida. Florida, the busiest US State through early summer and the quickest to regain and then surpass 2019 traffic, is now trailing YOY activity by 8%. California and Texas have seen some recovery in flight operations, but still down 17% YOY so far in August. Of the other busiest States, Colorado is one of the bright spots, with arrivals up 7% this month, and notably flight hours up 14%; attracting visitors from across the country. Bizav flights out of New York State are still down almost 40% YOY.
There is significant variation across US airports, with Dallas Love Field the busiest in August, flights up by 12% compared to last year. Denver Centennial is popular, arrivals up 7%, and Aspen continues to draw a big crowd, bizav visitors up by 26%. National Park destinations such as Eagle County airport have seen much more traffic than normal. Van Nuys has remained pretty buoyant, activity down 3% this month. The big losers are the East Coast airports, especially those reliant on corporate travel and international connections; Westchester is trailing YOY activity by 34%, and Teterboro’s bizav departures are down 57% so far this month, little changed from June and July. Similarly, metropolitan traffic to and from Dulles, Atlanta and Las Vegas is still well below normal.
Outside the US and Europe, the most stable region continues to be Oceania, with mostly domestic flying in Australia slightly up YOY, although New Zealand´s bizav is almost 20% below normal levels. Flight activity in Brazil and Colombia is holding up despite the spread of the pandemic Mexico is amongst the worst- affected, bizav activity at only 50% of normal. Africa likewise has shown little recovery in the last 3 months, still down by a third in August. In the Middle East there is a significant contrast between strong YOY growth out of Qatar, and a deficit of almost 40% in sectors flown from and within Saudi Arabia. The Asia-Pac region has shown some recovery, aggregate trend 12% below, with China’s activity well recovered this month, up 10% versus same period in August 2019.
Richard Koe comments: “Business aviation activity has weathered the virus 2nd wave concerns in Europe so far, but not in the US. The overall result is that activity is bobbing around at 80% of normal, which is still a lot better than Scheduled Airlines, operating at around 50% of normal levels for August. What we have seen so far is a limited recovery in the leisure market, distinguished by demand for lighter aircraft, domestic flights, and popularity for remote rural and island destinations. The corporate demand is still largely parked. As the scale of the economic recovery materialises, we will see how that demand is affected as we move towards the end of the summer.”
Bizav recovery hits the buffers as some travel restrictions re-imposed
According to WINGX`s weekly Global Market Tracker :
Hamburg, July 30, 2020Global business aviation traffic has lost over 86,000 sectors so far in July compared to same period July 2019, which equates to 20% decline, an improvement on the 30% deficit in June YOY, but a step backwards from mid-July when activity was approaching 85% of last year´s volumes. The reversal is clearest in the US, where 7-day average daily activity has slipped from 7,300 sectors at the start of the month to around 6,800 in recent days. The declines are weighted towards weekdays, down by at least a quarter, compared to weekends, where sectors are more robust. For North America as a whole, the July activity trend is – 23% month-to-date, which reflects softening activity in Canada and Mexico.
Several US States have reversed course on reopening the economy in July as virus infections have surged. This is the main break on recovery in flight activity, with business aviation flights in California, Texas, Michigan, North Carolina stalled at 20% below, and New York activity still stubbornly down by a third YOY. The East Coast hubs are really struggling, with White Plains almost 40% down for the month, Teterboro still 60% shy of normal July activity. Gains in YOY activity out of Florida and Arizona persevere, but they´re barely 1% up YOY. Palm Beach is an outlier, with activity gains of 20%. There are some other exceptions, with flights out of Aspen up by 18% this month, Denver only 2% down, Salt Lake City 2% up, and Van Nuys airport seeing resilient activity, flights trailing by 6% so far in July.
The European market continues to see stronger recovery in July, with regional activity now only 14% down, and just 6% down in the last 7 days. France has registered over 10K flights in the month, 12.5% under par, and Germany is just 2.5% below normal for July. Switzerland has a similarly flat trend, and several countries – Austria, Belgium, Croatia – are seeing more flights this month than in July 2019. Spain has shown the strongest recovery this month, with the domestic market, 40% of its traffic, seeing more than 10% growth. Mallorca´s flights are up 22% and Ibiza is only 8% under par this month. UK visits to Spain are up 12%, arrivals from Switzerland up 29%, from Germany, 40% growth. This picture may change in the next week, following the re-imposition of UK quarantine on travellers to Spain.
Elsewhere in Europe, Nice is back in action, flights recovered to 83% of normal. Le Bourget is still trailing but now only 31% behind. Swiss airports are seeing much improved activity, with Geneva flat YOY and Zurich just 1.5% adrift. The Russian market has been fairly robust, 8% below normal, and Vnukovo is recovering, flights down by 12%. UK, Italy and Greece are the wayward countries. Even leisure hubs like Olbia are down by a quarter for bizav arrivals. The UK´s top airport, Farnborough is still in the dumps, flights down 40%. Biggin Hill has taken second spot from Luton, flights up at 94% of normal. Arrivals into Greece are 35% adrift, with top tourist spots like Mykonos seeing 50% fewer bizav visits.
Outside Europe and the US, business aviation flight activity is lagging in Africa and Middle East, a third behind usual activity, with recovery stalling at 85% of normal in Asia, 95% in Oceania. In those regions, China´s activity has oscillated around 10% below par, and the Australian market is just a couple of points off usual levels. Elsewhere, recorded bizav activity in Brazil and Columbia is up YOY. India is only a little adrift, the UAE has seen a 17% increase in flight activity this month, but Saudi Arabia continues to slump, 40% below levels last July.
The global footprint by aircraft type continues to emphasise the resilience of lighter aircraft, with Very Light Jets flying 93% of normal, Light Jets down by only 12.5%. Super Light sectors off by 18%. The decline steepens to 20% in the midsize segments, and Heavy Jet operations trail by over 30%, with Ultra-Long Range jets flying 35% less so far in July. The redoubtable PC12 continues to fly most missions, with Citation Excel/XLS the busiest jet, sectors down by 20%. The most resilient business jet types are Challenger 300/350 and Phenom 300, flying 15% fewer sectors this July.
Richard Koe comments: “The recovery in business aviation activity has taken a knock as travel restrictions persist, but the sector is still showing much more resilience than the scheduled sector; bizav trends are heading towards a 20% decline for the US in July, in stark contrast to 50% deficit in airline connections. The recovery in Europe has released pent-up demand slightly later, just in time for peak summer season. Unfortunately, unpredictable quarantine interventions have probably already introduced sufficient uncertainty to limit the extent of that recovery in the second half of the summer.”
Global activity at 2/3 normal, with US buoyed by Leisure travelers
According to WINGX`s weekly Global Market Tracker:
Hamburg, June 18th, 2020 – Rolling average daily flight activity has continued to improve in June 2020, with the 9,300 sectors operated on 16th June representing a 22% improvement compared to daily activity at the end of May, and more than 150% growth on the trough in daily activity in April. Business aviation activity for the first half of June has already exceeded all activity in April, although still trending 33% below the first half of June in 2019. Scheduled aviation activity has shown less resilience, flights down almost 80%. Business aviation share of all fixed wing activity has grown from 12% pre-crisis, to 28% in June.
By region, North America continues to show strongest recovery in business aviation, trailing 30%, with business aviation activity in the core US market 27% sub-par, and only 17% behind 2019 during the most recent weekend in June. European flight activity is still lagging, 48% down on June last year. There is significant variance among countries, with business aviation flights from Germany down by only 26%, Croatia and Sweden around 20% below, Switzerland, Sweden and Russia 30%-40% below, France 50% down. The UK and Spain are the laggards, activity in both markets down by 70%. The UK has suffered a clear setback in its recovery since the quarantine came into force on 8th June.
Business aviation activity out of Asia is down 30% so far in June, with China recovering up to 88% of normal activity, and flights in India down only 7% for June so far. Singapore and Thailand are still trailing 40%, and key markets in the Middle East are seeing only gradual recovery, with flights in Saudi Arabia and UAE still down at least by half. The most recovered region is Oceania, with flights in Australia down only 4%. In Africa, business aviation activity is slow to recover, 40% off this month, with Morocco heavily depressed, but Nigeria almost at normal levels. In South America, flights have recovered to more than 80% of normal, with 15% decline in Brazil, and some growth in Argentina.
Globally, busiest airport continues to be Miami Palm Beach, which together with Opa-Locka and Naples airports, is seeing growth in June 2020 vs June 2019. Scottsdale activity is also up, whilst Teterboro departures are still down over 70%. In Europe, busiest airport hubs this month are Le Bourget, Geneva and Zurich, with Vnukovo up the ranking as it normally is in the summer season, flights down by 44%. Activity at Farnborough and Nice is still suffering, at least 65% down, whereas Biggin Hill is only 36% below normal. Activity at Ataturk, Istanbul is only 9% down, and there has been growth in activity this month from Belgrade airport.
Busiest aircraft types continue to be the PC-12 and Cessna Caravan, both flying around 25% less than usual. Citation Excel XLS, Phenom 300, and Challenger 300 are the busiest jets, flying 33% sub-par, with the busiest large jet the Challenger 600, flights 44% below. When it comes to Branded Charter, flights down 36% globally, King Air 350 and Nextant aircraft are amongst the busiest. Aircraft Management operators are operating only 22% below normal for June, with Gulfstream 450 and 550 the busiest jets in this bracket. Overall, the large cabin fleet is still weakest, with Ultra-Long Range jets below 50% normal activity, whereas Very Light and Entry level jets are flying close to 80% of normal.
Richard Koe comments: “The uptick in business aviation recovery is what we would expect to see as lockdowns get released in Europe and North America. It’s clear in the US that the recovery is coming in Leisure flights, with June weekend activity already within 20% of normal levels. In Europe the recovery is strongest is in domestic markets, with flight volume within Germany almost up to normal levels for June. The usual Leisure activity peaks in Europe have been stunted by the cancellation of key VIP events and the complications of cross-border travel. As intra-European borders are lifted from mid-month, we expect to see stronger regional recovery.”
Memorial Day travel demand boosts recovery in US, other regions lagging
According to WINGX`s weekly Global Market Tracker
Hamburg, June 4th 2020 – Global business aviation activity is trailing by 51% comparing May and the first few days of June 2020 with the same period last year. North America is the most robust region, with activity over the period recovering to 49% of normal levels, having been down by three-quarters in April. Starting May with a rolling 7-day average of 3,800 daily sectors, North America ended the month at around 6,200, an improvement of 63%. In the US, sectors flown in the last 7 days, which includes Memorial Day demand, are down only 3% compared to the same dates in 2019.
After North America, the bulk of business aviation activity has operated out of Europe, with trends still just over 60% below normal. Of the other regions, Oceania has recovered by most, with traffic only 25% below normal, and South America is now running 27% below par. In Asia flight activity since the start of May is down by just over 50% year on year, although it’s more than doubled in the last week. At the start of the May, only half the normally active worldwide fleet was operational, and by the end of the month fleet employment was down only 20% on normal.
By country, business aviation demand appears to be most robust in Australia and Sweden, with jets and props operating 20% below comparative periods in 2019. Germany is the busiest country in Europe, with flights 44% below usual. Sectors flown within Germany are only 20% fewer than normal. Flight activity in Russia and France is respectively 53% and 63% down. The countries seeing the largest negative impacts are still the UK, Spain, Italy, flight activity reduced by 70% and more.
The busiest airports since May 1st have been in Florida, Texas and Arizona, with West Palm Beach at the top, flights trending down by 20%, then Dallas Love Field and then Scottsdale airport. Florida´s Naples airport, ranked 4th by business aviation departures, has actually seen some growth in May 2020 compared to May 2019. Flight activity from Teterboro is still languishing 80% below pre-crisis levels. In Europe, Le Bourget, Geneva and Zurich are busiest, then Biggin Hill. Elsewhere, Vnukovo has been the busiest business jet hub, and Brisbane busiest for turboprop traffic.
The trend in traffic by business jet segment continues to show more resilience in small cabin than in larger jets. For example, Bizliner movements are down by almost 80%, with ultra-long range and heavy jet flights still well under 60% of usual activity. Midsize segment, from Super Mid to Super Light, are flying around half normal levels. The best performing segments are Very Light and Entry Level jets, and Turboprops. The PC-12 and King Air 200 have operated 20% of all business aviation flights during May, with comparable year on year activity down some 35%. Cirrus SF50 jet activity is actually slightly up in this period.
Richard Koe comments: “The key US market appears to be entering a faster recovery phase, with holiday travel in the last week seeing close to normal activity for the end of May. Overall, Aircraft Management companies have the strongest overall trend, although some Charter Operators have almost regained usual levels. Europe is still lagging, with business aviation traffic down by 60%, though still much better than scheduled airlines, sectors more than 80% below. Coming into the summer, we expect to see faster recovery, although countries with quarantines in place will obviously miss out.”
Slight recovery in North America, mainly in turboprop activity.
According to WINGX`s weekly Global Market Tracker :
Hamburg, May 7th, 2020 – Global business aviation activity was down by 68% for the period April 1st through May 5th. The key North American and European markets are respectively declining by 69% and 70% respectively, compared to the same dates in 2019. Asia is doing slightly better at 67% below normal, with flight activity out of South America 64% down. Flights to, from and within the Oceania region have recovered to 48% of normal activity.
The moving 7-day average activity has steadily improved on a global basis since mid-April, from a low point of 3.6K flights per day to 5.2K flights a day in May, more than 40% improvement. This recovery in business aviation activity is far more perceptible than in scheduled airlines. Whereas business aviation activity comprised about 15% of scheduled sectors at the start of March, it now represents around 33%. The North America region is contributing most to the recovery trend in business aviation sectors. Europe is still very flat.
After the United States and Canada, the third busiest country is Australia, where flight activity, mainly turboprop, is only 37% below normal. Germany is the busiest European market, flights down by 63%, with both France and UK (where Biggin Hill is the busiest airport in London) much slower, activity down by 75%. Business aviation flight activity in Sweden has declined on 29% during the period. Apart from flights between United States and Canada, almost all business aviation activity is domestic.
By aircraft segment, there is a general distinction between the large cabin long-range jets and the lighter jets and turboprops, with the former category showing no sign of recovery from very low trends, whereas the smaller end of the market is showing some resilience. The Very Light Jet segment has the strongest recovery trend. Within the turboprop segment, the Caravan, PC-12 and King Air 200 are flying most, at around 50% normal levels.
Richard Koe comments: “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. 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. With Tromsø ranking as the third busiest airport for business aviation in Europe, this is clearly far from being a normal market.”
NBAA : Bolen Urges Congress to Expand Support as GA Grapples With COVID-19
Washington, DC, May 6, 2020 – Today, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen asked Congress to build on the CARES Act in calling for continued, targeted relief for the nation’s general aviation (GA) industry, including business aviation, in written testimony submitted before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
“Since early March, general aviation operations have declined more than 70 percent, resulting in severe economic consequences for a wide variety of businesses, from aircraft operators to airports and aviation manufacturers,” reads the testimony submitted for the hearing, “The State of the Aviation Industry: Examining the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic,” convened May 6 by committee chairman Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS).
Among the relief measures requested by NBAA include expanding the temporary suspension of certain air transportation excise taxes to include non-commercial GA fuel taxes. Bolen explained that measure will serve, “as a catalyst to help small general aviation businesses recover once the immediate crisis begins to recede,” with the resulting boost in traffic bolstering the nation’s GA airports and a variety of small businesses including flight schools and fixed based operators.
“Your efforts to provide near and mid-term relief for air carriers and small businesses under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) injected much-needed funds into general aviation businesses,” Bolen continued. “Still, we believe additional assistance will be necessary. The uncertainty as to the longer-term prospects for aviation requires us to think creatively.”
Bolen also thanked lawmakers for championing payroll support measures, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), under the original CARES Act and subsequent expansions, but also called on lawmakers to ensure that payroll support funds to air cargo operators and eligible contractors are distributed in a timely manner by the Treasury Department. He further expressed concerns that payroll support applications have not yet been approved for some Part 135 air charter operators and requested that Treasury officials continue to show flexibility in working with these small businesses.
“This uncertainty as to potential support presents significant challenges to general aviation businesses that are already struggling to survive,” Bolen wrote. “As Congress continues its oversight of CARES Act programs, we respectfully request that you work with the Treasury Department to provide additional details on the timeline for a decision on payroll support payments to applicants.”
Despite these challenges, Bolen also emphasized that GA and business aviation operators continue to link communities through a network of more than 5,000 airports and provide critical support to communities of all sizes through a broad variety of relief efforts, including missions coordinated through NBAA’s Humanitarian Emergency Response Operator (HERO) database.
“Business and general aviation are resilient, and we will recover from this crisis; however, the road ahead will be very challenging,” he concluded. “The CARES Act helped respond to some of the immediate challenges our community is facing, but additional long-term relief will be necessary over the coming months.”
Daher introduces the HomeSafe™ emergency autoland system for its TBM 940 very fast turboprop aircraft
Tarbes, France, May 6, 2020 – Daher today unveiled technical details forits TBM 940 very fast turboprop aircraft in the Model Year 2020version, which is equipped withHomeSafe™–an emergency system thatautomatically bringsthe airplane to a runway touchdown if the pilot becomes incapacitated.
The system is activated manually by an easilyrecognizable orangebutton atop the cockpit instrumentpanel. Its software integrates weather, traffic and terrain information to select the best airport for landing, taking into accountfuel rangeand runway length.
HomeSafe™is based on Garmin’s Emergency Autoland system –available as a part of the G3000 integrated flight deck–and has been under development for the TBM since 2017 bythe Avionics Engineering Officeat Daher’s Aircraft Division. This work included Big Data analyses and the testing of 20 HomeSafe™ system versions.
Daher has submitted HomeSafe™ to European and U.S. aviation authorities for a certification expected this spring, enabling first deliveries of the autoland system in its top-of-the-line very fast turboprop version in June. The system also will be available for retrofit on earlier-production TBM 940 aircraft at an introductory price of $85,000.
“The TBM 940 redefines safety and reliability in its category, and continues Daher’s pragmatic introduction of cockpit automationfor lower pilot workload and enhanced situational awareness,” said Nicolas Chabbert, the Senior Vice President of Daher’s Aircraft Division. “This latest step extends our innovation into a featurethat specifically addresses operational safety from passengerpoint of view.”
When HomeSafe™ is activated, occupants of the aircraft are briefed by a safety video on the cockpit’s multifunction display. Air traffic control is informed of the situation by an automated message,and the transponder automatically is set to the emergency squawk code. The system provides inputs to the aircraft’sflight controls and adjusts engine power settings through the touchdownphase. It will activate the brakes on roll-out and shut down the engine after a full stop.
The pilot can override the autoland function at any time to resume normal flight conditions by simply disconnecting the autopilot.
HomeSafe™ operates with systemsand functionality already integrated on the TBM 940, suchas the autopilotand autothrottle, as well asfunctions of Daher’sTBM e-Copilot®: Enhanced Stability and Protection (ESP), Emergency Descent Mode (EDM)andautomated de-icing detection. Alsoutilized istraffic data (ADS-B, FIS-B), weather information (XM weather, Garmin Connext,etc.) and inputs from the radar altimeter.
Additional equipment incorporated on the TBM 940 for system functionality with HomeSafe™includeselectrical relaysto enable automatic activation of the flaps, landing gear and landing lights. An emergency automatic braking system–activated by a Garmin servo control–complements the standard braking system, with an additional hydraulic fluid tank. A fuel shut-off valvealso has been addedto stop the engine by cutting off the fuel supply.
In addition to this revolution in safety, the TBM 940’s Model Year 2020 version is equipped with the Garmin GWX 75 doppler weather radar, which enhances pilot awareness through a high-definition color palette, an extended coverage range out to 320 nautical miles, a 120° horizontal scan angle, along with optional turbulence detection and ground clutter suppression modules.
Air BP provides support during COVID-19
May 7, 2020 – As the impact of COVID-19 touches every corner of the globe, we’re supporting the communities in which we operate through a number of initiatives alongside our customers and partners.
In Australia we worked with our procurement team to donate 35,000 N95 masks to the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) for their frontline staff.
Our donation builds on a long-standing relationship with the organization which spans decades of providing bespoke fuelling services. Air BP has also been a national partner of the RFDS for the past three years.
Also in Australia, Air BP’s rapid response helped to keep a Qantas Sydney to London ‘Kangaroo’ route going after Singapore banned stopovers in late-March. Air BP provided an average of 266,000 litres of fuel per flight at Darwin airport, enabling aircraft to continue on the historic non-stop 16-hour flight.
In France we are supporting an initiative led by Aviation Sans Frontières, an aviation charity dedicated to providing humanitarian assistance. We are donating 60,000 litres of jet fuel for flights that will transport medical staff and equipment between French hospitals. These flights are carried out free of charge when requested by medical authorities. With more than 50 locations in France, we are well positioned to support this critical service.
In the UK, Air BP is providing free jet fuel for use by the helicopters of a number of UK air ambulance services, supporting their life-saving work during the pandemic. All these services are charitable organisations that we already supply with jet fuel. Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Great Western Air Ambulance receive fuel directly from Air BP, whilst Wales Air Ambulance and Midlands Air Ambulance Charity are supplied by Air BP customer Babcock International.
In the US Air BP is donating 3 million gallons of jet fuel to customers FedEx and Alaska Airlines to support the timely delivery of medical supplies and other essential goods, such as food and mail, to areas of the U.S. at greatest risk for COVID-19. We will also offset the carbon emissions of all donated fuel deliveries through the BP Target Neutral programme.
In China, we have been providing support through our two joint ventures.
To date, the South China Blue Sky joint venture has fuelled more than 800 epidemic relief and repatriation flights. Meanwhile at Shenzhen Airport, staff working with Shenzhen Chengyuan Aviation Oil Co. have been working round the clock to maintain aviation fuel supplies for chartered flights carrying medical and relief equipment to Wuhan and other cities in China.
Jon Platt, CEO, Air BP said: “We are pleased to be able to play our part in supporting our communities during these difficult times. Our commitment to safe, reliable fuelling operations remains unwavering and we’re grateful for the hard work of our front-line Air BP operators who continue to enable us to meet the needs of our customers.”
Air BP’s efforts form part of the wider bp response to COVID-19, which includes a $2 million USD donation to the WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund; supporting mental health charity Mind to help more people access mental health support across the UK; providing free fuel to UK emergency service vehicles; providing discounted fuel for first responders, doctors, nurses and hospital workers in the US and donating bp’s supercomputing capability to help halt the spread of the virus.
SEA Prime – Milano Prime and the business aviation respond to the health emergency
The terminals of Milano Linate Prime and Malpensa Prime are operational with extraordinary actions and preventive measures
SEA Prime, a company of the SEA Group, which with the Milano Prime brand is the sole manager of the Business & General Aviation infrastructures for the Linate and Malpensa airports, addresses the health emergency by implementing preventive measures, in compliance with the rules and recommendations issued by the institutions.
The Milano Malpensa Prime terminal at Milan Malpensa airport has remained open to 24/7 for passengers’ traffic, managing several “rescue” flights for the return of citizens residing in Italy who were blocked abroad and for permitted travel. Emergency medical flights are also managed to transport patients, devices and medical operators.
Milano Linate Prime at the Milan Linate airport is currently operational for medical flights and, therefore, in addition to the activities related to the COVID-19 emergency, also for the transportation of organs, devices and medical operators. In Milano Linate Prime, maintenance flights of based aircraft are also carried out, to allow the maintenance of the airworthiness requirements of the fleets.
Overall, from the beginning of the restrictions to date, over 400 movements have been handled at the two airports, a drop compared to last year due to the existing limitations and in line with the trend registered at European level.
The Business&General Aviation sector is providing an important contribution to the ongoing pandemic by allowing passengers to return to their countries of origin as well as contributing to the transportation of patients, staff and healthcare facilities.
In this context, Milano Prime is in the front line alongside the operators based in the two Milanese airports who, even during an emergency, manage to guarantee flights of primary importance in a very difficult context as well as the necessary assistance to the aircraft.
“SEA Prime’s primary objective in this situation is to safeguard the health of passengers, crews, operators and colleagues who work every day to ensure the operations of Milano Linate Prime and Milano Malpensa Prime.” comments Chiara Dorigotti, CEO of SEA Prime. “In addition to providing staff with anti-contagion protection devices, safety is guaranteed by direct measures and information for both staff and operators, by the installation of sanitizing gel dispensers and by the introduction of protocols for cleaning and sanitizing spaces.”
High safety standards and health protocols will also be implemented and guaranteed from the recovery of operations to the reaching of pre-pandemic levels.
Planet Nine (“P9PA”) expands Gulfstream charter fleet with second, managed GV
April 15th, 2020 – Planet Nine Private Air (“Planet 9”), the Van Nuys, California based private charter operator and aircraft management company, announced today the addition of a fourth Gulfstream business jet to its managed charter fleet. Its 6,200 nm / 13.5 flying hours Gulfstream GV (N194MF), under private ownership, takes Planet 9’s Part 135 fleet to 10 aircraft. The ultra, long-range Gulfstream GV, with its flexible three-zone cabin and enclosed state-room, is currently available for bookings.
The Gulfstream V’s spacious 1,812 cu ft cabin, recently retrofitted is ideal for work, rest and relaxation. It features 14 generous pale grey leather seats. Inflight entertainment can be enjoyed via eight large Ipads, holding a variety of movies. The aircraft also has a well-equipped, full-service rear galley.
“We are very pleased to be adding our second Gulfstream GV model under management,” said Matt Walter, Planet 9’s Cofounder and Director of Business Development. “We said at the outset when we launched the business that we were excited to be resourcing up to manage a 20-strong fleet. Today, we are well on our way to achieving this ambition, supported by a growing, loyal base of customers who have come to depend on us for safe, reliable, discreet air travel around the US, to Europe and the Middle East.”
Planet 9’s latest Gulfstream GV joins a sister aircraft, plus a Gulfstream G550, Gulfstream G650 and Bombardier Global 5000. Planet 9 also operates (and owns) for charter five Dassault Falcon 7Xs.
Planet Nine during the Coronavirus pandemic
“We continued to fly, repatriating families, when the airlines stopped, but right now we are operating more essential, versus luxury travel, flying doctors, healthcare professionals, scientists and diplomats. We’ve carried out a number of flights bringing medical professionals over to the Middle East and Europe,” said Matt Walter.
“All our crew are wearing wear masks and gloves pre and post flight. Flight attendants wear both throughout the duration of the flight. We’re staying up to date with guidelines from health guidelines from the world’s governments and adjusting policies as necessary. Since mid-March we’ve been conducting temperature checks on all passengers prior to flight with non-invasive thermometers; applying additional questions regarding travel history. All our aircraft are professionally disinfected after every flight and all inflight catering is sourced from the safest restaurants and businesses which implement the safest precautions,” he added. “Importantly, we are checking in with our employees, including crews twice daily, to verify everyone is healthy.”
COVID crisis precipitates record low levels of monthly flight activity.
Hamburg, April 9th, 2020 – According to WINGX`s latest monthly Business Aviation Monitor:
The Covid crisis set off a dramatic fall in business aviation flight activity in March, with 36% fewer flights than in March 2019, some 23K fewer sectors year on year, taking the total Q1 trend down by 12% vs Q1 2019. The last 12-month trend has slipped down to -3%.
March 2020 marked the lowest level of monthly activity in Europe in the last 15 years, 32% below the trough level recorded in the wake of the financial crisis bakck in 2009.
All the leading markets saw a very large drop in departures, with France seeing the largest absolute decline, over 3K sectors, and Italy relatively most affected, flights down 71%.
Across the busiest European cities for business aviation, London airports saw 22% decline, Paris 45% decline, Milan more than 70% decline. The biggest declines across these and other leading airports were felt in large cabin aircraft, these movements down by at least 40% YOY.
The Charter market was affected slightly less than Private flights, but still lost 30% of YOY activity. Sweden, Russia and Greece were the least affected, with the latter actually seeing a YOY increase in flight activity.
The trends in business jet flights between Europe and other regions of the world varied, with at least 30% declines in connections with Middle East and North America, a modest decline in connections with Asia, slightly improved on February, and an increase in flight connections with South America.
Large cabin jet activity declined more than any other segment in March, notably Ultra and Heavy jets. Super Light activity was down by slightly less, 24% fewer flight YOY.
Biggest drops in activity this month showed up on F, OE, N, LN registers, with N Register activity falling 50% or more. OE and D Register activity was down by relatively less than others.
There were very substantial declines at almost all the busiest business aviation airports in Europe in March-20. Top airport LFPB saw departures fall 45% YOY. UUWW, EGKB, LEPA, LEMG were relatively less affected during month.
The declines applied across all aircraft categories, although lighter aircraft were less negatively affected. Large jet activity fell >50% at Le Bourget, Nice, Vienna and Schonefeld.
Richard Koe, Managing Director of WINGX, comments:
“The 30% fall in flights this month marked the lowest monthly level of activity in the last 15 years, and furthermore the full month trend significantly understates the trending decline which was closer to 70% in the second half of March. Indeed, in the first half of March, charter operators benefited from strong growth in repatriation demand, but by the end of the month all operator types were suffering similarly very steep levels of decline. We anticipate continued very high levels of reduction in YOY flights through April
European Business Aviation community calls for urgent safeguarding measures from European Institutions and national governments
2 April 2020, Brussels. Today, the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), as well as national associations together urged European policy-makers and regulators to protect the continuity and survival of the Business Aviation sector in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In its open letter, the European Business Aviation community calls on policy-makers and regulators in the EU Institutions, Member States, Switzerland and the United Kingdom to:
Maintain full and effective coordination with our industry and the associations supporting our sector in Brussels and in the Member States, Switzerland and the United Kingdom;
Ensure basic operational continuity for Business Aviation operators, service providers, manufacturers and supply chain to maintain essential flight operations such as – but not limited to – medical flights, supply of medical equipment, repatriation of citizens to their home countries and the supply of aircraft and parts to ensure such operations can continue;
Implement all measures as soon as possible to ensure that Business Aviation can resume its normal activities as soon as the crisis is over. The packages recently launched by the European institutions will definitively support our sector but additional measures – proposed here – are also essential in consideration of the magnitude of the crisis.
The 374,000 people who work in the European Business Aviation sector are facing a crisis of unprecedented magnitude and uncertain futures. In the last week of March, EUROCONTROL had observed a decrease of 72% in business aviation traffic across Europe compared to the same time in 2019 (with some variations between countries).
Furthermore, a pan-European survey of 130 European Business Aviation CEOs conducted by EBAA (see note to editors) revealed that estimated financial losses for the thousands of SMEs that make up the sector range from 50-90%. The most pressing issues for the CEOs surveyed are staff retention costs, fixed location costs and taxes.
Commenting on the joint letter, Athar Husain Khan, EBAA Secretary-General said: “The measures detailed in our letter today aim at the same objective; helping to safeguard as many companies as possible in our sector. Business Aviation has a vital role to play in the fight against COVID-19 and the post-crisis European recovery”.
Pete Bunce, President and CEO of GAMA commented: “The General and Business Aviation industry pays tribute to all those working tirelessly to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Our industry stands ready to work in partnership with the EU institutions and national governments to continue to support relief work, deliver medical supplies, and to implement the measures outlined in this letter, which will help pave the way for recovery both in terms of health and the economy.”
Many operators specialised in medical and emergency flights are currently providing essential services to communities fighting the pandemic, including for the transport of health workers. But all other medical emergencies have not stopped, and are being handled by Business Aviation operators despite numerous operational challenges and restrictions. Along with medical and emergency flights, Business Aviation also provides cargo flights, ensuring the transport and delivery of critical medical supplies in Europe and around the world. Business Aviation is also supporting European and national governments’ efforts in reuniting families through repatriation flights
Business aviation flight activity drops a third in Europe, down 30% worldwide
According to WINGX`s weekly Global Market Tracker :
Hamburg, April 2nd, 2020 – Business aviation departures from Europe were down by 34% in March 2020 compared to March 2019. Overall, there were 17,800 fewer flights flown month on month. Declines have accelerated towards the end of the month, with the last few days seeing close to 50% reductions.
Activity in Italy has been most affected, with just over 1,000 departures during the entire month, 70% below March 2019 activity. Activity in normally the busiest market France was down by 43%. Germany and Switzerland saw declines of over 30%. Flights in the UK fell by 23%. Over the whole month, flights in Sweden were up, by 1.3%.
Le Bourget, Nice and Geneva have seen the largest declines in business aviation activity this month, all seeing declines of at least 35%. Of the leading airports, Biggin Hill has least impact, March activity down by only 1%. Flight activity out of Malaga was slightly up this month.
All aircraft segments have seen severe declines, with Ultra Long-Range aircraft most impacted, operations down by 40%. Super Light and Very Light Jet activity is down by around 25%. The King Air 200 is the busiest aircraft, activity down by 19%. Citation Latitude flight hours are up this month.
Branded Charter and Private flight departments cut back activity by 20% in Europe over the month, whilst Aircraft Management companies registered a 50% fall in flight activity. Ambulance traffic more than doubled.
In the United States, business aviation flight activity fell by 30% compared to March 2019. That decline equates to more than 100,000 business aviation sectors month on month. The first half of the month saw modest turbulence, with declines accelerating from there; on 31st March flight activity fell 66% compared to the same date in March 2019 (and that compares Tuesday with a Sunday).
Globally, downward trends in business aviation are quite even, with North American flight activity down by just under 30%, Asia and Europe seeing trends closer to 35% decline.
Richard Koe comments: “The abruptness of the decline in business aviation activity this month is only comparable to the effect of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption back in 2010, only with much longer and more severe consequences. WINGX expects a trough in flight activity in April, which may see some countries completely shut down flights. With an optimistic outlook for ending virus containment, we might see renewed demand for flights by the summer, at which point business aviation may have a window of opportunity to meet pent-up demand whilst the airline capacity is still parked.”
AVIAA RELEASES ANNUAL MEMBER FUEL BENCHMARK AND METRO FUEL PRICING STUDIES
AVIAA, the global procurement and group purchasing organization for business aviation, today announced the release of its Annual Aviation Fuel Study. AVIAA’s operator and private owner members recently received a personalized AVIAA Member Fuel Benchmark Report and Metropolitan Fuel Pricing Study, giving comparisons of individual movements, fuel pricing, and opportunity scores based on AVIAA’s ‘True Price’ at the top 100 airport FBO’s served. AVIAA members accounted for 19,000 movements at the top 10 ICAO’s and contributed over 56,000 movements at the 100 most frequented airports. The study revealed a 139% price spread between high and low fuel prices within the top 25 Metro areas including London, New York, Miami and Los Angeles.
“We continuously monitor, research, and analyze General Aviation supply chain activity and pricing for our members. This gives them valuable benchmark intelligence to help make smarter purchasing decisions and negotiate market-relevant agreements,” commented Richard Tilghman, AVIAA’s COO and Chief Product Officer, who leads AVIAA’s data analytics team.
While Member Fuel Benchmark Reports focus on personalized analysis, AVIAA has also made a summarized version of the 2019 Metro Fuel Pricing Study available to the wider general aviation community by request via aviaa.com. Here, AVIAA compares fuel pricing across multiple ICAOs to quantify variances within major operator destinations. “Each of those markets has multiple ICAOs, and many vary substantially in fuel pricing. While landing at alternative ICAOs in a particular metro area isn’t always an option for a charter or an owner, there’s a lack of quantified opportunity costs for landing at alternative locations. This is intelligence operators can integrate as a component of their cost management strategies,” said Tilghman.
Custom reports were delivered to AVIAA members in February, ahead of the crippling effects on aviation since brought about by COVID-19. This enabled operators to leverage the intelligence provided in the studies to remain agile and cost-efficient in their operations in today’s market environment. “AVIAA aims to support our members in achieving procurement best practices that balance costs, quality, and safety in executing their operations among our community of operators and supplier partners,” added Les Popiolek, AVIAA Chief Executive Officer.
The Metro Fuel Pricing Study found that there are potential savings opportunities in every metro area examined.
“While fuel is a variable cost for operators, it’s also their most significant expenditure. Our research provides actionable insights for our members. It’s difficult for anyone to predict how long flight activity will be negatively impacted, but our focus remains on providing our community with a platform to strengthen their market position through lower operating costs and improved margin performance,” Popiolek added.
AVIAA provides aviation procurement solutions across other key spend categories including insurance, maintenance, training, data, operations, and ground handling, and plans to issue reports on these additional segments soon. AVIAA is currently working with members on how they can realize immediate savings on fixed operating costs, helping those operators free up much-needed capital during this time.
EBAA partners with Osprey Flight Solutions to support business aviation in times of COVID-19
26 March 2020 (Brussels). The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) announced today that it has partnered with risk analysis company Osprey Flight Solutions to provide operators with real-time updates on risk information related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Business aviation operators are able to access the Osprey:Open platform to find live updates on COVID-19 and its impact on daily operations, including;
- Country-based COVID-19 infection rates, showing the growth and rate of the infection, and what stage in the spread of the virus that country is experiencing.
- COVID-19 related NOTAMs, both those published by any country and those relating to any international airport.
- All known travel restrictions for each country.
Commenting on the new partnership, Robert Baltus, Chief Operations Officer at EBAA, said:
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the EBAA team has been working hard to provide a constant flow of updated operational information and safety guidance to our members. We’re delighted to team up with Osprey Flight Solutions to enhance EBAA’s support capabilities and ensure that the business aviation sector can operate with the most up-to-date intelligence available in this crisis”.
Bruce Norfolk, Chief Commercial Officer at Osprey, added:
“Our absolute priority right now is to provide the most accurate data and analytics to support the industry during this time of global crisis. The team at Osprey have worked around the clock to bring updates to :Open that will help operators to monitor and make decisions about their operations. I’d like to thank EBAA for their support in the continued development of :Open and for recognising the huge capabilities it can deliver to the aviation industry – particularly during this critical time.”
Osprey:Open is an easy to access, user-friendly, individual-user based platform that provides a base level of security data and information for anywhere in the world. For the first time, comprehensive data on the types of incident or environment that have a daily impact on operations is instantaneously available, making Osprey:Open the most capable platform for supporting security risk management in the aviation industry.
The datasets within the platform are updated as near live time as possible, keeping operators up to date as the situation develops, with further capabilities to be added over the coming days and weeks.
Operators should register for free access here: https://open.ospreyfs.net/
Aviation activity at near standstill as Europe becomes virus epicentre
According to WINGX`s weekly Market Tracker :
Hamburg, March 26 th, 2020 – Business aviation flights to and from Europe are down by 24% so far in March 2020 compared to the same days in March 2019. The slowdown accelerated into a slump last week, with flight activity over the most recent weekend falling by 70%.
Italy has been most affected, with business jet and turbo prop flights down by 65% this month, which amounts to a reduction of just under 2,000 sectors. Flights from and to France, Turkey, Belgium, Netherlands and Poland are down by 30% or more. Transatlantic flights are also down by a third this month.
UK is the busiest business aviation market this month, with only 8% reduction in flight movements, and flight hours for flights are trending up so far in March. There has also been an increase in flights from Sweden, Portugal, Latvia and Estonia. Flights from Europe to Cyprus, China and UAE are up this month.
In terms of airport activity, the top airports have seen significant decrease in activity, although these reductions are generally trending below the overall market decline. Le Bourget and Geneva are significant exceptions. Month-to-date trends for London airports show less effect, and indeed Biggin Hill activity is up so far this month.
All aircraft segments are flying a lot less compared to March 2019, with the biggest drops in large aircraft activity; Bizliners, Ultra-long range and Heavy jets. Very light and Super light jet activity is least affected, down by 10-15%.
The busiest aircraft types so far this month have been light jets and props, such as King Air 200, PC-12, Citation Mustang, Phenom 300, CJ2. Bombardier Global 6000/6500 is the busiest large jet MTD. A few aircraft have increased activity in March, including Lear 40 and PC-24.
By Operator Type, Aircraft Management companies have seen 40% reduction in flights, whereas Branded Charter operators, which had strong growth at the start of the month, are down only 10% MTD. Ambulance flights have more than doubled, whereas ad hoc Cargo operator activity has slumped.
Richard Koe comments: “In the first week of this month, as the virus diffused across Europe, business aviation activity increased in several countries, reflecting the increasingly urgent demand for rescue and repatriation. With Europe becoming the epicentre of the pandemic in the last 10 days, government suppression policies have eroded that demand more severely. So far this week, business aviation is operating at about 50% of normal frequency, which may indicate an ongoing resilience. This could be essential, with airline capacity shutting down and scheduled flights down by almost 80%.”
In upcoming Trackers WINGX will be capturing all global business aviation activity on a multiregional basis and relating these trends to wider trends in airline and cargo movements.
FAI works around the clock to meet critical Covid-19 demands
March 24, 2020 – FAI rent-a-jet AG, Germany’s leading Air Ambulance Specialist and Special Mission Operator has been working around the clock to help evacuate those in need following unprecedented demand from the spread of coronavirus. This includes both medical evacuations of infected patients and repatriation flights of unaffected healthy individuals from all corners of the globe.The company is currently operating at maximum capacity, averaging around six missions per day with its 10-strong fleet of five Learjet 60s, four Bombardier Challenger 604, and one Global Express air ambulance aircraft. Additionally, FAI is supplementing its fleet with its executive charter fleet of business jets.
Following its recent purchase of two portable self-contained isolation units, EPI-Shuttle, FAI can transport infected patients without any risk for the flight or medical crew. All medevac missions are accompanied by a trained dedicated medical team, for pre-flight temperature screening, and the availability of medical/nursing care in flight as required.
Siegfried Axtmann, Chairman and Founder of FAI Aviation Group said: “We are working hard to fulfil all requests coming in 24/7 for repatriation and medevac flights as rapidly and as efficiently as we can and will continue to do so as long as is practically possible. We deeply regret that we can’t help everybody immediately. The demand is such that we currently have a backlog of three days.“
FAI has enlisted the support of all its 70-strong team of pilots to perform duties. The biggest challenge remains scheduling given entry restrictions now in place in many countries around the world many of which are not allowing entry for crew rest and pre-positioning.
FAI is the world’s largest fixed wing air ambulance jet operator by revenue, logging far above 10,000 hours per year flying air ambulance missions. The company’s fleet is based at its Headquarters at Albrecht Dürer International Airport in Nuremberg. The air ambulance division specialises in air support in hostile areas for the world´s largest NGO. It typically averages three intercontinental medical evacuations per day for its global client base.
FAI can transport Covid-19 patients using its EpiShuttle self-contained isolation units
BizAv : Coronavirus impact accumulates, with some growth niches.
According to WINGX`s first Market Tracker
March 19, 2020, Hamburg – Overall, business aviation flight activity in Europe is down by 6.9% during the first 17 days of March period, compared with the same period in March 2019. There have been big fluctuations day-day, and a trend towards severe overall decline during the last few days.
In the busiest business aviation markets, France has seen the largest decline, 12% fewer flights, with Germany down by 4%, but so far Spain, UK and Sweden departures are all up vs same period 2019.
Small aircraft have evidently been doing much of the repatriation work, mainly within Europe; Super Light, Super Mid, Very Light and Entry Level flights are up. Large Jet activity is well down.
Paris Le Bourget has seen the biggest drop in activity Month-To-Date (MTD), flights down by 11%. Whereas, so far, flights out of London are well up, notably from Farnborough, Luton and Biggin Hill.
In terms of domestic country activity, France and Italy have seen very big reductions. Flights within Germany and within Sweden are well up. MTD trends are converging downwards in last week.
By Operator Type, Aircraft Management companies have seen a big reduction in travel, whereas Branded Charter operators have growth trends MTD. Private flight departments also busier.
Richard Koe comments:
- Business aviation is clearly impacted by the Coronavirus, with accelerating declines in the last few days belying the overall 7% drop month-to-date. We expect flights to dry up next week once restrictions are stricter and the repatriation rush is done.
- That said, notwithstanding the enforcement of personal travel, we do expect a strong demand for business aviation to fill gaps left by the grounding of airline capacity. By comparison with business aviation, airline flights have declined much more heavily.
- Looking forward, the economic impact of the Coronavirus, already well evident in stock markets and bond yields, is bound to strike the business aviation industry relatively hard, particularly where expenditure has been discretionary.
- In upcoming Trackers WINGX will be capturing all global business aviation activity on a multiregional basis and relating these trends to wider trends in airline and cargo movements
EBAA, NBAA Cancel European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition
15 March 2020 (Brussels). The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today announced the decision to cancel the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition 2020 (EBACE2020), due to concerns related to the rapidly evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The event was scheduled to take place in Geneva from 26-28 May, 2020.
Both business aviation groups have closely monitored the COVID-19 spread, which has prompted daily, evolving announcements from government and medical authorities in the U.S. and Europe, impacting large public gatherings, travel planning and other decision-making.
The partner organisations’ decision came as the Swiss authorities announced that all events of more than 100 people would be banned until at least 30 April. The Swiss authorities have also said they would reintroduce Schengen border checks.
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen said, “As with all NBAA events, we view our participants as partners, whose health and well-being is our foremost concern, and that priority is front and centre in our decision to cancel EBACE2020.”
EBAA Secretary-General Athar Husain Khan said, “This is the hardest decision EBAA’s Management and Board of Governors have had to make in years. But given the unprecedented circumstances, we had no other choice. We must do everything we can to help protect against exposure to COVID-19, and mitigate any risks associated with the spread of the virus.”
BizAv Monitor : Flat Feb despite Leap Year; COVID already eroding flight activity
Hamburg, March 11th, 2020 – According to WINGX`s latest monthly Business Aviation Monitor 57,227 business aviation flights in Feb-20, a YOY decline of 0.8%. Decline in Feb-20 eroded the gains made in Jan-20; overall, 2020 is now 1.7% ahead of 2019.
Adjusting for Leap Year, Feb-20 decline exceeded 3% and YTD trends are negative vs 2019. The first week of March is showing 6% decline, and over 40% drop in flights out of Italy.
Back in Feb-20, business aviation flight activity nose-dived in Germany, slumping by 13% in Feb. Flights from UK also well down. During the month, there was large growth in flights from Italy, Spain, Russia.
The big Feb declines in UK and Germany mainly came from Props flying 20% less. Large jet activity is down in Germany, but up in Switzerland, Italy, Austria. Other Jet activity up 10% in Feb.
Charter activity was up by most in Russia (64% of all flights were AOC). Also Feb-20 Charters were up in Switzerland, Spain. AOC activity in Germany and UK and Turkey were well down.
London activity was well down in Feb, but due to declines in Prop; Large Jet activity was up across London airports, as at Geneva, Moscow, Zurich. Other (Small and Mid) Jet flights were up 14% from Geneva, up 19% from Brussels.
Flights within Europe fell 1% in Feb-20 (more than 4% with LY adjustment). Flights from Europe to North America were 6% up in Feb. Africa, Asia and Middle East connections were well down.
Pilatus activity stands out, with PC24 activity continuing to grow fast. Also strong growth for Embraer and Bombardier Heavy Jets. Cessna MSJ and VLJ up. Big growth in YOY activity for Embraer Light Jets.
Strong Feb-20 growth in activity out of LSGG, UUWW, LFLB, although L12M trend remains negative for most top airports. This month Germany airports are seeing a big dip: EDDM, EDDB, EDDS.
Charter/AOC traffic is trending up by more than 15% at UUWW, EGKB, LEPA and LSZS so far this year. L12M trends are much weaker, with EGLF conserving strongest trend, up 6%.
Richard Koe, Managing Director of WINGX, comments:
“February trends were disappointing, coming off a strong Jan-20 performance, but the effects of COVID-19 are already evident, with business jet arrivals from China down by 30% YOY, and Germany´s market seeing the largest impact of the virus crisis in Asia. Within Europe, there was some growth in Feb, notably in the ski season flights connecting Moscow, Geneva, Chambery, also solid growth in Large Jet activity in London airports. Overall, the business jet charter market seems to have done quite well. But looking ahead, we can already see the escalating negative effect of virus containment measures in Europe, with the potential repercussions for a significant economic relapse in the region over the next few months, bound to depress business jet activity further.”
Acropolis Aviation welcomes its brand-new Airbus ACJ320neo
World’s first ACJ320neo re-delivered by AMAC Aerospace, designed by Alberto Pinto lead designer Yves Pickardt.
- Elegant 19-seat cabin with sleeping for 17, focused on well-being for 12-hour flights, without compromising on luggage capacity.
- Delivering the highest levels of comfort, with an average cabin altitude of 6,400ft, coupled with air humidifier.
- Very latest technology optimised for work and leisure with fast Ka-Band internet.
- Aircraft set to be extremely popular in the US, Middle East and European charter markets.
Acropolis Aviation, the UK VVIP charter operator, announced today the arrival of G-KELT, its brand-new ACJ320neo. The aircraft touched down at Acropolis’ Farnborough Airport home on 27th February, the culmination of 13 months’ cabin outfitting by Basle, Switzerland based AMAC Aerospace. Its distinctive, elegant cabin interior was overseen by designer Yves Pickardt from Alberto Pinto. He congratulated the AMAC team, who have “brought our design to life beautifully.”
G-KELT takes long-haul flying to a new level. It brings stylish accommodation for 19 passengers, including a private master bedroom leading to a luxury en-suite bathroom with a rectangular shower, the largest ever to be installed in an Airbus single-aisle aircraft. Cabin space is versatile to suit Acropolis’ diverse clientele, from heads of state to private individuals flying for business or leisure.
There is an emphasis on wellness throughout, reflecting that Acropolis Aviation’s ACJ320neo, the first in a new family for Airbus, is capable of flying over 12 hours. It features a full-sized kitchen galley for food preparation and an induction oven, enabling preparation of fresh quality food, without any fumes or odours. With an average cabin altitude of 6,400 ft to enhance cabin well-being, G-KELT has been fitted with an aircraft cabin air humidifier to ensure clients have a comfortable on-board experience, enabling them to arrive refreshed after an overnight flight.
The very latest technology is provided by Collins Aerospace cabin management system, Venue, along with its inflight entertainment system, Stage, allowing hundreds of movies and TV programmes to be viewed on 19 individual iPads and four large TV screens throughout the cabin. Collins is also providing its Viu LED mood interior lighting system, while its moving map display Airshow features on the four large cabin screens. The aircraft is also fitted with superfast wireless Wi-Fi via Ka-Band internet connection.
“We are absolutely delighted with the high quality of workmanship that has gone into the creation of G-KELT since it arrived green in January 2019,” said Acropolis Aviation CEO Jonathan Bousfield. “AMAC Aerospace has created something very special, which will set new standards of comfort and well-being within the VVIP charter market, fully utilising the cabin space.”
“We are thrilled to be starting this new decade with the arrival of G-KELT, which we look forward to showcasing to the industry soon,” he added.
“It is with great pleasure that we have executed this completion project for Acropolis Aviation, one of the world’s leading private aviation operators, commented Bernd Schramm, Group Chief Operating Officer of AMAC Aerospace. This unique mission adds to the excellent reputation that AMAC has earned in the market, which we have continuously demonstrated over the last 20 VIP / 25+ VVIP and refurbishment/modification projects.”
Arrangements are underway with Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) to show the aircraft on the static display during EBACE 2020 in Geneva. Fittingly, Acropolis became the first customer for the new family at the show in May 2015.
Acropolis Aviation’s G-KELT, ACJ320neo stylish interior
AVIAA AND LOFT PARTNER ON CITATION AND CJ TRAINING OFFERING
February 12, 2020 – AVIAA, the expanding group purchasing organization for business aviation, has added LOFT as another strategic partner for its membership. For the past 15 years, LOFT has provided experienced flight instruction to Cessna Citation and CJ pilots through the entire training process. Its unique Part 142 simulator training program, based in Carlsbad, California, will now be offered to the growing number of AVIAA members operating Citation C Series business jets.
“As our community grows, we understand the importance of offering our members training partners that have the ability to deliver the highest level of training and adapt to an operation’s specific and ever-changing needs,” said Matthew Smith, AVIAA Chief Business Development Officer. “LOFT is a natural partner to add to our portfolio with its track record of experienced simulator pilot training, as well as the significant number of AVIAA members operating the Citation jet. Insurance and crew training are critical operational pillars where AVIAA delivers economies of scale to members.”
LOFT recently added a new Cessna 560 Level D simulator at its location in Southern California. Offering a wide variety of training courses as well as scheduling options, LOFT flight instructors are career aviators and professional pilots.
“We pride ourselves on specialized CJ and Citation initial and recurrent training at LOFT, and partnering with AVIAA will allow us to offer its members pilot instruction in a relaxed and professional environment,” said Collin Yantos, LOFT Marketing Director. “All of our courses are taught with a proprietary curriculum and state-of-the-art technology to ensure the best training experience for pilots whether they are seeking initial type ratings, ATP certificates, SIC training, or insurance-approved recurrent training.”
Carlsbad, California-based LOFT is a simulator-based training provider for Cessna Citation and CJ pilots.
“Flight to Sustainability” – The environment and business aviation tops conference agenda
11 February, 2020 – Embracing the number one issue affecting our industry today, the British Business General Aviation Association (BBGA) is putting sustainability at the heart of its annual conference theme next month. Returning to Luton Hoo Hotel, UK, on Thursday 5th March, the Association is pleased to confirm that environmentalist, former MEP and World Bank representative, author Stanley Johnson will be this year’s keynote speaker.
The conference, to be hosted at Luton Hoo’s historic and grand Mansion House venue this year, will also address the importance of Future Aviation Strategy 2050 with Paul Maynard MP, Minister for Aviation and Major Infrastructure, followed by a workshop discussion. BBGA and its membership have provided input to FAS 2050, highlighting how the unique characteristics of business and general aviation can make a valued contribution. “We are on the precipice of an exciting new world in aviation – encompassing alternative fuels; modern renewable powerplants; new eVTOL models,” said Marc Bailey, BBGA CEO. “Our recommendations for a sustainable future include maximising use of airspace, performance based navigation and multiple approach paths to minimise noise and fuel burn, as the need to invest in sustainable fuels.”
There will be a session focused on air travel and SAF with EBAA’s head of environment Bruce Parry, plus Thorbjörn Larsson, General Manager, Air BP UK and the Nordics and Bryan Stonehouse, Global Biofuels Manager at Shell Aviation.
A session on illegal charter and a call for regulation and legislation, heightened in light of the high profile and tragic Sala accident, will be chaired by BBGA Chair and Partner, Air Law Firm, Aoife O’Sullivan, together with Dave Edwards, CEO of The Air Charter Association (ACA), David Kendrick, Head of Airline Licensing and Consumer Issues at the UK CAA and Simon Williams, Director of Civil Aviation, Isle of Man Aircraft Registry.
In the afternoon BBGA will address the pre-requisites for a sustainable (operationally viable) future for our airports, including the smaller airfields under threat from closure. James Dillon-Godfray, Head of Business Development at London Oxford Airport will lead the debate with Miles Thomas, Environment Manager at Farnborough Airport, (the world’s first carbon neutral airport) and Douglas Mancini, Chair of Fairoaks 2020, the lobby group for Surrey’s Fairoaks Airport.
In the second stand-alone talk, biologist Rod Arnold will highlight how the British Antarctic Survey (and David Attenborough) relies on business aviation – as an enabler for climate change research. As Head of the BAS’ Air Unit, Rod oversees the operation of five de Havilland Dash 7 and Twin Otter aircraft active in the polar regions, delivering science to the Antarctic and Arctic.
“The aviation industry has found itself firmly in the spotlight since the beginning of the year and much has been directly related to sustainability. The title, theme and timing of our conference is especially relevant,” added Marc Bailey. “Sustainability is extremely pertinent to the next generation, as we heard at last week’s Corporate Jet Investor Conference in London* and EBAA’s AirOps 2020 in Brussels. We are pleased too to be joining forces with our sister organisations in tackling this issue. Marc will be joined by Tim Alderslade, CEO of Airlines UK; Martin Robinson, CEO of AOPA UK; Athar Khan, CEO of The Air Charter Association in discussing this hugely importantly topic.
“Stanley Johnson leads a diverse and interesting speaker line up this year, adding to what we are sure will be an informative and educational event. We are also holding a so far untitled and undisclosed 30 minute session in the afternoon which will inevitably lead to a call to action.”
As before, BBGA will use the occasion to present the Michael Wheatley outstanding contribution to industry award. This will be presented at the start of the conference at 09:30 hrs. Recent recipients were Penny Stephens, CEO of Inflite Group (2019); Philip Lammiman (2018) and Andrew Walters (2017).
First Euramec Diamond DA-20 Flight Simulator In Service at Aeroviation Singapore
HAMME. Belgium Februari 5, 2020 – Euramec, the European flight simulation solution providers announced that Aeroviation Inc in Singapore is now operating their first Diamond DA-20 flight simulator.
Faris Iskandar, CEO Aeroviation: “Aeroviation is an aviation hub in Singapore that trains future aviators starting from seven years olds, all the way to adults. Students from 15 years onwards will proceed to obtain their Recreational Pilot Certificate or go further. The Diamond DA-20 is an excellent tool for students to transit smoothly to an actual aircraft and obtain their licenses in a short amount of time.”
EURAMEC’s DA-20 Flight Training Device has an enclosed cockpit with a grand 240 degree horizontal and 40-degree vertical view to guarantee a most realistic flying experience.
Bert Buyle, CEO EURAMEC: “Diamond flight simulators are built of authentic Diamond aircraft parts, with real avionics, high-end visuals and OEM flight models for safe flight training on your way to obtain a Private Pilot License.”
Aeroviation will benefit from EURAMEC’s experience to deliver flight training regardless of weather conditions or aircraft availability – with a focus on skills and technique development for top student value and satisfaction.
“It does not get any more realistic,” Bert Buyle said. “We are very proud to support the Singapore aviation eco-system with their new state of the art flight trainer.”
Faris Iskandahar said: “”The Diamond 20 from Euramec is an excellent simulator which both our instructors and students enjoy flying it. It was a pleasant experience from receiving the DA-20 on day 1 till it was installed in Singapore. The Euramec team are very professional and very efficient in supporting us to kick start our first DA 20 flight simulator in Singapore.”
Coronavirus – Business aviation in China – what you need to know
4 February 2020 – Carlos Schattenkirchner is Regional Director of UAS International Trip Support based in Beijing, China. He and his team provide domestic handling services across China, assisting overseas business aviation operators achieve easier access to all categories of business airports in the region.
UAS’ Chinese and English-speaking agents are active at the principal business aviation hubs including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Xi’an and Guangzhou, making them a trusted partner for clients requiring ground handling and trip support services. Their English and Chinese speaking personnel are on hand to support a client’s stay in China.
Responding to the escalating situation caused by the spread of the Coronavirus UAS imparts the following advice.
At the time of writing, news comes of more cases of the disease in mainland China and exported cases to 25 countries including Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan, Canada, France and Germany.
Our advice is to be aware of the risk of additional administrative measures taken by the government at any time (this can be airport closures, commuting restrictions within cities, and regular temperature screening).
Are any of the FBOs temporarily closed?
No FBO’s in China are closed at the moment. However, changes can happen at very short notice. Entrance screening is being implemented. Passengers from affected areas arriving at these airports with a high temperature may be subject to questioning by local port health authorities, registration for follow up monitoring, and possible quarantine and testing.
What are you advising your passengers to do if they must travel?
Importantly, bring your own protective mask, hand sanitation liquid, and disinfection tissues – as all these items are now sold out in China. Generally too, always wear a face mask when outside and avoid public areas as much as practicable. Follow local laws and advisories and have the emergency contact of your Embassy ready.
Has UAS’ travel department been diverting flights bound for Beijing and Shanghai?
Until today all business aviation operations to Beijing and Shanghai are running as normal. No diversions or abnormalities have been observed. However, we respect a large number of international airlines including British Airways, Lufthansa and major US airlines American, Delta and United have temporarily stopped flying to Beijing and Shanghai. The USA (Center for Disease Control and Presentation) has advised citizens against non essential travel to China.
Is it best to delay China trips?
While a general travel ban has not been issued, we advise postponing travel to China as rapid changes in administrative safety measures are imposed. Hotels are suddenly closing / and or no longer accepting guests for health safety concerns. In addition, regular long-haul shuttle bus services from the capital Beijing and Shanghai city have been suspended indefinitely.
Any traveller from any country can be subject to government health checks if any symptoms are shown. Influenza symptoms, common at this time of year, can be misinterpreted and there is always a risk. It is important to stay on alert and well informed before and during the visit to China.
If you must travel, what’s your advice?
Be sure to get the right mask to wear, practice good personal hygiene, keep hydrated and well nourished.
What do we know about Wuhan, where Coronavirus originated?
With 11 million residents, Wuhan is the most populous city in central China and the 7th most city populous in China. It’s main gateway, Wuhan Tianhe International Airport has 45 airlines flying to 109 non-stop destinations in 20 countries. On average, 30,000 passengers depart the airport every day. Since January 23, flights departing Wuhan have been cancelled owing to the Coronavirus outbreak, and only special mission flights (medical, cargo, diplomatic) are being allowed – with prior co-ordination.
Has UAS been helping passengers / operators with re-routing requests?
UAS China is currently supporting operators with re-routing alternatives to ensure as little disruption to their schedules as possible.
AVIAA Partners with TrainingPort.net as Online Training Provider
January 29, 2020 – AVIAA, the expanding group purchasing organization for business aviation, has added TrainingPort.net as another strategic partner for its valued membership. A leading online training provider for nearly 14 years, TrainingPort.net will provide AVIAA members with a wide variety of lessons using an innovative, modern platform. Trainees can access the 15-minute online lessons on any device anywhere in the world.
“Our commitment to help train and make our aviation community safer is always a priority, and our partnership with TrainingPort.net will allow AVIAA to offer our clients enhanced digital learning for pilots, dispatchers, ground handlers, maintenance technicians, and cabin crew,” said Matthew Smith, AVIAA Chief Business Development Officer. “This is another opportunity for our members to benefit from AVIAA’s global network offering economies of scale and savings on insurance and crew training.”
TrainingPort.net’s unique 15-minute lessons are based on concise learning and allow employees to focus on their jobs while retaining information and easily accessing on an iPad, laptop, or cell phone. Both companies are fully vested in their clients’ and partners’ success, and will offer all AVIAA members a 10% discount on these training services.
“TrainingPort is very pleased and excited about our new partnership with AVIAA,” said Brian Laird, Senior Sales Manager-U.S. “This seamlessly links with our ongoing passion to partner with and invest in our clients’ long-term success. AVIAA is a trusted organization that provides unparalleled value to their well-established membership base, and we believe pairing that value with TrainingPort’s high-end suite of training and services will provide AVIAA members with the opportunity to vastly upgrade their online training experience which ultimately enhances their overall operation and safety.”
Editor’s note : Requests of demo on TrainingPort.net stayed without response.