As we reflect on December 2023, the business aviation sector presents a fascinating mix of trends. The US large jet market remains robust, contrasting with weaker performances in Asia and the Middle East, and a notable slump in Europe.
Globally, business aviation, including turboprops, has set a new record this December. Despite a slight dip compared to last year, the sector is still significantly ahead of 2019. This growth is primarily driven by an increase in turboprop flying, with business jet activity also showing a positive trend.
Europe: Business jet activity experienced a 6% decline compared to last year, with Germany, France, and Austria notably below their 2019 levels. However, fractional and private flight departments in these countries are flying more than at any point in the last four years.
North America: The region saw a 1% increase in bizjet departures compared to last year, with a remarkable 23% growth over the past four years. Florida and Texas led this growth, with Puerto Rico showing a significant 68% increase compared to four years ago.
Asia: The business jet sector finished 5% below last year but remained 42% ahead of November 2019. The majority of flights were international, with domestic flights trending significantly higher than in 2019.
Middle East: Business jet activity fell 13% from last year but was 44% higher than in 2019. Saudi Arabia experienced an increase in flights, while Israel and the UAE saw declines.
The overall market shows a flattening trend compared to last year, with Europe’s demand weakening towards 2019 levels. The Middle East experienced a 15% drop year-over-year, although the COP conference spiked bizjet arrivals. The US market continues to show relative strength, especially among the largest operators.
In the latest weeks of December, global business jet activity has seen a slight decline compared to 2022 but remains ahead of 2019. North America has witnessed growth, with Florida being the busiest state. Europe’s business jet activity, however, has fallen behind last year’s figures, with the UK, Germany, and France showing declines.
December 2023 in business aviation has been a month of contrasts. While the US large jet market shows resilience, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East present varied levels of activity. These trends highlight the dynamic nature of the business aviation sector and its responsiveness to global economic and regional factors.