In Europe, October cooled the skies, according to reports by the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and analysts at WINGX. There was a marked decline (-13,6%) in October traffic (63.965 flights) when compared to October 2021 (74.009 flights). But it’s not all bad news—that figure was still a healthy margin ahead (+31%) of October 2020, and 2022 overall has outperformed 2019.
The top five states by traffic declined in October, though they remain ahead of 2021 for the year.
France 20.980 flights -15% (YTD 239.387 +15% vs YTD 2021)
UK 19.085 flights -9% (YTD 192.695 +47% vs YTD 2021)
Germany 16.392 flights -10% (YTD 164.544 +11% vs YTD 2021)
Italy 12.291 flights -11% (YTD 141.465 +18% vs YTD 2021)
Spain 9.864 flights -18% (YTD 106.816 +12% vs YTD 2021)
The top five airports, by average daily departures, also reflected the slowdown but are running ahead of last year.
Paris Le Bourget had average daily departures in October of 84,8 -11,9% but averaged 82,8 daily departures for the year, +32,9% over 2021.
Nice airport’s average daily departures in October were 42,4 -15,5% and were 56,8 +12,7% for the year.
Geneve Cointrin reported 41,6 average daily departures in October -21,5% and 47,8 for the year +18,3% compared to 2021.
London/Luton averaged 38,8 daily departures in October -6,3% but remains significantly ahead for the year with 38,8 daily departures +70,8% compared to 2021.
Farnborough had a sharper decline in October than Luton, with average daily departures of 38,4 -23,5% but has maintained a healthy advantage over last year with average daily departures of 42,0 +34,5% over 2021.
The top five routes in terms of YTD flights both ways have retained growth.
Paris Le Bourget ⇔ Geneva International had 2.993 flights YTD (+21% over YTD 2021).
Nice Côte d’Azur ⇔ Paris Le Bourget had 2.519 flights YTD (+14% over YTD 2021).
Nice Côte d’Azur ⇔ Farnborough had 1.630 flights YTD (+44% over YTD 2021).
Geneva International ⇔ Nice Côte d’Azur had 1.540 flights (+9% over YTD 2021).
Farnborough ⇔ Paris Le Bourget had 1.412 flights (+37% over YTD 2021).
The share of traffic by origins and destinations continues to be dominated (60%) by Intra-Europe flights, with domestic flights representing 34% of all traffic and Extra-Europe representing 6%.
The largest percentage (63%) of flights are short-haul routes below 500 nautical miles/1000 km.
Short-haul routes below 1000 nautical miles/2000 km represent 21% of traffic.
Medium-haul below 2500 nm/4700 km accounted for 10% of traffic.
Long-haul flights above 2500 nm/4700 km accounted for 6% of traffic.
Africa took the lead in Intercontinental connections in October, with a total of 3.379 flights both ways (28.947 YTD). North America came in second with 3.121 flights in October, but retains a short lead YTD with 28.977 flights. Flights to/from the Middle East came in third at 1.873 in October and 16.970 YTD.
Overall, business aviation represented 8% of all aviation traffic in October, according to EUROCONTROL. Airlines dominated the skies at 88% of all flights, and cargo accounted for 4% of the market.
November starts slow
WINGX provides a glimpse at global traffic for the beginning of November, which reflects a further slowdown in North America and Europe.
Fourteen days into November, North American business jet activity trailed last year in terms of flights operated by 3%, although 11% above three years ago.
Over the last four weeks, activity has been trending 1% behind last year.
In Week 45, activity dropped by 3% compared to week 44 and 6% compared to week 45 2021.
So far this month, business jet activity in Europe is 15% below November last year, though still trending 10% above November 2019.
In week 45, flight activity dropped 2% compared to the previous week, 15% below the same week in 2021.
Outside of North America and Europe, business jet activity is 24% above last year and 55% above three years ago.
Over the last four weeks, activity in Asia is +23%, Africa +16%, South America +6% and the Middle East +5%.
The Sky in Sports
Business jet arrivals into Qatar ahead of the FIFA Men’s World Cup were 21% below last year as of 14 November, though they still reflected triple-digit growth compared to three years ago. Arrivals on the days closer to the competition were expected to rise significantly.
During 11–13 November, Brazil hosted the latest round of the F1 calendar.
Airports near the venue (SBSP, SBMT, SBGR) saw 68 active bizjets arriving during the Grand Prix weekend this year, 70% more than the 2019 Grand Prix weekend.