The Skies in August, Settling into September, by the numbers

After a hot summer for private jet travel, the warm skies of August settle into a cozy September, creating new opportunities to travel comfortably to prime locations.

August marked the first drop (-5.3%) in business aviation flights in Europe this year compared to last year’s figures (77.298 flights in 2022 vs. 81.631 fights in 2021). Overall, however, private flight activity is still 32% above last year (819.300 YTD 2022 vs. 620.801 YTD 2021).

The five most active countries in business aviation so far this year (based on aircraft movements) were:

  • France (24.504 in August and 192.717 YTD)

  • United Kingdom (20.289 in August and 152.337 YTD)

  • Germany (15.671 in August and 128.992 YTD)

  • Italy (18.008 in August and 111.479 YTD)

  • Spain (12.488 in August and 86.103 YTD)

The five most active airports in August were:

  • Nice — with 75,7 average daily departures

  • Paris Le Bourget – 59,9

  • Olbia Costa Smeralda — 51,0

  • Ibiza — 44,5

  • Geneve Cointrin — 44,4

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The five most popular routes so far this year were:

  • Paris Le Bourget ⇔ Geneva International with 2.322 flights flown between them year to date.

  • Nice Côte d’Azur ⇔ Paris Le Bourget with 2.011 flights YTD

  • Nice Côte d’Azur ⇔ Farnborough with 1.303 flights YTD

  • Geneva International⇔ Nice Côte d’Azur with 1.242 flights YTD

  • Milano LInate ⇔ Roma Ciampino with 1.103 flights YTD

Internationally, the most popular route continues to be transatlantic flights to/from North America with 2.947 flights in August and 22.314 YTD. Flights between Europe and Africa come in a close second with 2.631 in August and 22.815 YTD.

While September began more quietly for global private aviation, there has been a recent pickup compared to last year, mainly driven by activity in the US. The first 11 days of September saw 165,576 business jet and prop sectors operated globally, which is 2% higher than the same period in 2021, and 17% higher than the same period in 2019.

“In week 36, 5th September through 11th September, business jet flights were up 8% compared to the previous week, 7% higher than week 36 last year. In the last four weeks, bizjets are flying 2% more than comparable last year,” WINGX reports.

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In Europe, business jet activity has dipped 7% so far in September compared to September last year, but remains 20% higher than 2019.

Leisure activities and events boosted demand for popular destinations so far this month.

  • Milan Linate and Olbia saw 14% and 15% growth over this time September of last year

  • Ibiza was 10% busier than last September.

  • The Italian Grand Prix at Monza generated a 43% increase in average daily bizjet arrivals during the 5 days prior and first 2 days of the event compared to the 2019 Grand Prix.

  • The Cannes yachting festival resulted in a 16% increase in average daily business jet arrivals compared to the 2019 event.

For those seeking to venture out further, Brazil is particularly hot right now, as the busiest market outside of Europe and North America with double the departures of the second busiest market, Australia.

Some slower markets might make prime destinations for an enjoyable September getaway.

  • Morocco is 30% less busy than this time last year.

  • Farnborough is down 20.2%

  • Zurich is down 17.7%

  • Athens is down 9.6%

  • Palma De Mallorca is down 3%

Source: EBAA Traffic Tracker July 2022, with data from EUROCONTROL and WINGX ADVANCE