2022 in the Skies: By the Numbers

The figures for private aviation are in for December 2022, giving us a complete perspective on a remarkable year for business aviation. While there was a decline in flights towards the end, 2022 was still significantly ahead of 2021.

In all, there were 793,152 business aviation flights and 49,182 during December. While December’s flight activity was -6.2% compared to Dec 2021 (52,456 flights), the year was 11,8% higher than 2021 (709,393).

The busiest month in 2022 was July, with 92,911 flights, 10,4% higher than July 2021 (84,144). The month with the highest growth in 2022 was February which was 61,2% higher than February 2021 (52,314 flights vs 32,460).

Last year’s total flight activity figures remained ahead of 2021 through July, with the first decline noted in August (-5,3%) compared to August 2021. The sharpest drop occurred in October (-12,6%) compared to October 2021.

But despite the end-of-year adjustment, 2022 was still a record-breaking year for European business aviation. Last year was still significantly higher than 2019, which had 686,675 flights.

With some exceptions, most European countries saw some growth for the year overall. Ireland experienced the highest year-on-year growth in 2022 (55%), with 17,589 flights. Besides Ukraine, where traffic was affected by the conflict, the highest market decline occurred in Latvia, where flight activity was -49% compared to 2021, with a total of 2,734 flights for the year.

The three busiest European business aviation markets overall were:

  1. France, with a total of 271,381 flights in 2022, a 12% increase over 2021.

  2. The United Kingdom, with a total of 223,224 flights in 2022, a 37% increase over 2021.

  3. Germany, with 192,161 flights in 2022, an 8% increase over 2021.

Jet at samedan airport

Airports and Routes

The European airport to experience the highest growth in business aviation movements during 2022 was London Luton (+56% over 2021). Only Wien Schwechat experienced a decline for the year, a modest -2% compared to the previous year.

The three busiest airports in 2022 were:

  1. Paris Le Bourget with 60,634 aircraft movements for the year, 25% higher than 2021

  2. Nice Côte d’Azur with 39,648 aircraft movements in 2022, 9% higher than 2021

  3. Geneva International with 36,484 aircraft movements in 2022, 14% higher than 2021

The route to experience the highest growth was in the UK, Liverpool International ⇔ Ronaldsway, with 839 flights between them, 60% higher than 2021. The route with the highest decline was in Italy, Roma Ciampino ⇔ Milano Linate, with 1.783 flights between them, -7% compared to 2021.

The three busiest routes in 2022 were:

  1. Paris Le Bourget ⇔ Geneva International with 3,632 flights between them, +12% compared to 2021

  2. Paris Le Bourget ⇔ Nice Côte d’Azur with 2,800 flights between them, +8% compared to 2021

  3. Nice Côte d’Azur ⇔ Farnborough with 1,848 flights between them, +38% compared to 2021

bombardier challenger 605 cabin

Jets, by the numbers

Cessna jets retained their top position as the most popular aircraft to fly over Europe, totalling 235,394 flights in 2022, an increase of 8% compared to 2021, and 14,457 flights in December. Bombardier Aircraft retained second place with 109,027 flights in 2022, +14% vs 2021, and 6,635 flights in December. Gulfstream aircraft experienced the highest level of growth in flight activity for the year, up 21% compared to 2021, with 55,279 flights.

The World Cup final in Qatar was a boom for Bizliner flights, which rose dramatically by over 80% in November/December.

Intercontinental Traffic

  1. Europe ⇔ Africa took the lead for the year, with a total of 35,411 flights.

  2. Europe ⇔ North America came in a close second, with 33,613 flights.

  3. Europe ⇔ Middle East took third place with 21,150 flights.

As 2023 takes off, we can expect some adjustments to the dramatic growth of recent years. Still, there is little doubt that business aviation has proven its worth as a vital part of a vibrant Europe, keeping businesses on track and bringing families together.

2022 has been a record year for LunaJets, with over 10,000 flights operated worldwide, and 1,400 new clients. The month of July alone saw a record-breaking 1,100 flights successfully organised. 2022 was also the opportunity for LunaJets to celebrate its 15 year-anniversary, and the entire LunaJets team look forward to many more, starting with a fruitful and exciting 2023!