The impact and domino effect of COVID-19 on business aviation industry

Updated: May 18, 2020

We tried to come up with the concrete consequences of COVID-19 on the different aspects of the air sector. Kindly fasten your seat belt as the journey will get bumpy !

The question that everyone is asking is, what awaits the private jet charter industry as well as all the services around.For sure we will face a drastic reduction of fleets, staff cuts, accelerated closure of unprofitable subsidiaries, adjustments to security measures and sluggish demand.

COVID-19 crisis will have an impact for years without any doubt, and the executive aviation will take years, perhaps a decade, to return to pre-crisis levels.

COVID-19 worldwide impact on private jet services

As lockdowns start to get relaxed we can see small signs of activity “growth”

According to WINGX’s weekly Global Market Tracker

International executive aviation activity was down by 70% coming into Tuesday 28th April, for the month to date, compared to same period in 2019. Flights in Europe and North America closely resemble the global trend, and flights in Asia are still down by almost 70% this month. Business aviation activity in South America is down by 60%. Oceania is the most resilient region, flights declining by 48% in April.

We could identify some good news as we can see an increase in executive aviation flight activity as well as catering orders in the last few days: if we compare the last 7 days we can see that we have exceeded the activity of the previous 7 days by 19% globally, with the same comparison showing a 13% growth trend in Europe and North America, and a doubling of flights in Asia. The moving 7-day average activity, globally, has increased on every day since the 15th April.  Comparably, the same 7-day average trend is still slightly declining for global scheduled aviation activity.

Compare to the 80% grounding of commercial aircraft, private jet charter industry had 2,000 business aviation aircraft operational on a daily basis worldwide in the last week, under a third of the normally operational fleet

The most affected region this month that have registered the biggest drops in flight activity in April are Canada, Australia, Norway, Sweden and Brazil. Italy, Spain, Mexico and France.

Business jet flight activity continue to face a big drop in flight activity this month. Light jet segments decrease of 70% below normal, and long-range aircraft flying at least 80% fewer sectors. The most resilient segment is Turboprop, with sectors down by just under 60%.

We observed that the Cessna 208 Caravan remain the busiest aircraft, followed by PC12 and King Air 200, 90 and 350. The Challenger 300 remain busiest jet platform.