The latest data on private flight numbers in 2023 show the sector is below the peak seen in 2022, but still well above the pre-covid 2019 numbers.
Worldwide Flight Trends
The numbers from ARGUS Analytics show global private flight activity in June 2023 recorded a decrease of 1.8% from June 2022, while monthly activity remained flat, down 0.2% from May 2023.
The North American market had a 2.7% yearly decrease in activity from June 2022 and was down 2.4% from May 2023. The European market showed further signs of stabilization, finishing down 6.1% from June 2022.
In North America fractional aircraft activity was the only section showing a yearly increase, up 4.5% from June 2022. All the fractional cabin sizes, from turboprops to large cabin, saw increased flight numbers.
In contrast the Part 91, owned, and Part 135, charter, flight numbers were both down in June 2023 year over year from June 2022.
ARGUS TRAQPak analysts estimate there will be a 2.7% decrease in overall North American flight activity year over year in July 2023.
Looking at the private aviation flight numbers in just United States, the graph below, courtesy of Flightaware, shows how the 2023 orange line of activity is trending below the light blue line for 2022 in the first half of the year. It provides a very visual display of how flight numbers are below these peak levels from 2022. But, the 2023 orange line is significantly above the pre-covid dark blue line for 2019 flight numbers.
The data from FlightAware shows that for the fist 6 months of 2023, the number of business aviation flights is about 20% ahead of the comparable 2019 pre-covid 6 months, but is running over 4% down from the first 6 months of 2022.
In Europe, flight activity in June 2023 was down 6.1% year over year but that was a two point improvement from the 8.3% decline that was recorded in May. The drop was seen in all cabin sizes. Note the number of flights in June was well above May, as Europe sees the number of flights increase each summer.
Private flight numbers in the rest of the world, including Africa, Asia, South America and Australia finished up 13.9% year over year in June.
The lower flight numbers mean that charter rates are coming down, jet cards prices are being lowered (examples here at flyExclusive and here at Magellan) and wait times to access fractions are shortening.