Ahead of the news of the emergence of the Omicron Covid-19 variant, WingX reported that global business jet demand increased 57 percent in the first three weeks of November compared with the same period last year. In addition, business jet demand was up 19 percent over the first three weeks of November 2019.
Domestic flying accounted for almost all growth, at 20 percent, compared with two years ago. Intercontinental flying was down by 60 percent in the same period.
In North America, flight demand was up 17 percent in the first three weeks compared with the same period in 2019. And in the U.S., demand was 50 percent higher compared with last year and 20 percent above pre-pandemic levels two years ago. “With [a] 20 percent increase already on November 2019, this month´s U.S. business jet traffic will smash all previous records for the month,” WingX said.
Meanwhile, in Europe, the month “is set to outstrip any previous November for business jet travel,” with demand up 29 percent, WingX said. The UK surpassed France in the first three weeks of November with 10,100 operational flight hours departing UK airports compared with 7,600 hours in France. “On this trend, the UK’s business jet activity will be up 25 percent on November 2019," WingX noted. Also, flights in Austria and the Netherlands were also “still well above normal,” WingX added.
In other regions of the world, activity was mixed. Nigeria, Morocco, Egypt, and South Africa—the first country to report the emergence of the Omicron variant after the Thanksgiving holiday—had the largest share of demand in Africa. But in the Asia-Pacific region, flight activity tapered off as governments reimposed restrictions, including in China, where departures in the first three weeks of November were 40 percent lower than in November 2019 and down 52 percent from a year ago. Flight activity in Turkey also slowed, with 11 percent fewer departures than last November.