September Cools Down in Business Aviation, by the Numbers

As summer wrapped up, business jet activity in the skies over Europe slowed down slightly, but year-to-date traffic remains strong.

According to WINGX, business jet activity for September 2022 was -8% compared to September 2021, though 18% higher than in September 2019.

EBAA’s September 2022 Traffic Tracker shows year-to-date flights (627.570) were well ahead of the same period in 2019 (533.698) and 2021 (490.336).

France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland hold the top spots in terms of Monthly and YTD traffic. The September slowdown was marked in France, with 13% fewer aircraft movements (25.690) compared to September 2021. Switzerland also experienced a double-digit retraction with 9.217 aircraft movements (-12% compared to September 2021).

Of the top five active airports by average daily business aviation departures (Paris Le Bourget, Nice, Geneve Cointrin, Milano Linate, and Farnborough CIV, in that order), only Milano Linate showed monthly growth (5,9% compared to September last year). However, year-to-date, Farnborough CIV showed 45,9% growth through September 2022 compared to YTD 2021.

Popular summer destinations, including Nice, Palma de Mallorca, Cannes-Mandelieu and Athens, also experienced double-digit declines versus last year.

The side and engine of a private jet

Average daily arrivals to The Monaco Yacht Show rose by 2% in 2022 compared to 2019, according to WINGX; based on their analysis of arrivals to Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, Saint-Tropez Airport, and Cannes Mandelieu Airport on the dates surrounding the event (during the five days prior and the first three days of the event).

Activity chart for the MYC 2022 (credits:
Wing X activity chart for the MYS 2022

The business aviation routes showing the most growth year to date were:

  • Paris Le Bourget ⇔ London Biggin Hill (+104%)

  • Geneva International ⇔ London Luton (+103%)

  • London Luton ⇔ Paris Le Bourget (+102%)

The most popular jet manufacturers by flights taken in September were:

  • Cessna with 22.668 flights (187.801 flights YTD, +15% vs 2021)

  • Bombardier with 10.199 flights (86.656 flights YTD, +23% vs 2021)

  • Embraer with 8.724 flights (70.869 flights YTD, +29% vs 2021)

The top three business aviation intercontinental connections to/from Europe for September were:

  • North America (3.542 flights)

  • Africa (2.753 flights)

  • Middle East (1.677 flights)

Source: WINGX

In North America, the arrival of Hurricane Ian dampened business jet activity.

“Week 39 business jet sectors in the North America region dropped 9% compared to the previous week and were 4% below the same week last year. Hurricane Ian’s impact on the US coastline was the obvious cause of disruption,” WINGX analysts reported. “Across the United States week 39 business jet sectors dropped 9% compared to week 38, 5% below week 39 last year. Florida took the biggest impact, with departures down 25% compared to the previous week, the Sunshine State recording a new rolling 52-week low of just over 3,700 flights.

The white leather interiors of a private jet

Elsewhere in the region, the hurricane’s effect was obvious in the Bahamas, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.”

We may expect traffic to increase during the NBAA-BACE scheduled in Orlando from October 18-20.

Elsewhere in the world, outside of North America and Europe, business jet activity was 60% higher in September 2022 compared to 2019 and 20% higher than 2021. Private flight departments operated 36% more flights than last year and double what they flew three years ago.

In the Middle East, ahead of the World Cup in Qatar later this month, WINGX analysts see “strong growth on what was already a record-breaking 2021: business jet movements were up 19% in week 39 YOY and up by 21% over the last 4 weeks.”

Contact a LunaJets advisor if you’d like to book a flight for the NBAA, the World Cup or to book a welcome autumn escape.

Sources: EBAA Traffic Tracker Sept 2022, WINGX