Business aviation flight hours sink to record low due to Covid-19

Mike Stones

Business aviation flight hours sink to record low due to Covid-19

Business aviation flight hours have hit a record low due to the Covid-19 global pandemic, with monthly flight activity dropping by nearly 70%, confirms the latest JSSI Business Aviation Index from Jet Support Services, Inc.

JSSI data, tracking global flight activity and utilisation of business aircraft – including jets, turboprops and helicopters – between March and April 2020, revealed a 69.3% fall. Flight hours plunged by  77.5% year-on-year.

Neil Book, JSSI President and CEO, said: “March flight hours saw the largest decline since the global financial crisis of 2008. April’s flight hours are the lowest we have on record, down more than 75% compared to April 2019 and demonstrating the true impact of global lockdown restrictions and border closures since their implementation.”

In April 2020, across the entire JSSI portfolio, average flight hours per aircraft were just 5.9 hours per asset. The hardest hit segments were newer aircraft aged under five years, followed by aircraft aged 6-10 years. Both categories saw the two largest month-on-month declines between March and April 2020.

Large cabin activity slowed the most

Large cabin aircraft activity slowed the most. Activity has dropped by 84.7% since March 2020.

Helicopters were the least impacted with flight hours reduced by 27.5% since March 2020.

All regions were hard hit in April 2020, with month-on-month falls in flight activity ranging from 74.2% in Europe to 48.5% in Asia Pacific region. Worldwide flight activity is down by an average of 27.2% compared with the same four-months of last year.

But flight activity is now showing modest growth, according to the research. “Asia Pacific was the first region struck by Covid-19 and shut down the earliest,” said Book. “As the region has begun to reopen, flight hours in April have had a modest rebound. As a number of countries begin to ease restrictions and borders begin to reopen, we expect to see a slow but steady increase in flight hours worldwide for the month of May.

‘A modest rebound’

“However, we simply do not know how long it will take to get back to 2018 and 2019 levels. The time to market with an effective treatment or vaccine will clearly be the driver of this timeline.”

While the largest demographic of business jet owners, males over the age of 60, may choose to reduce their flight hours, to safeguard against the virus, JSSI reports a growing number of new users choosing private aviation.

The next edition of Corporate Jet Investor will further chart the impact of Covid-19 on global business flight hours.

Meanwhile, JSSI has received a 2020 US Best Managed Company award. Read more below.

 

JSSI receives 2020 Best Managed Company award

Jet Support Services, Inc. (JSSI), has received a 2020 US Best Managed Company award. The programme recognises successful private companies; highlighting how well they are run, what they have achieved, and the contributions they make to their industries, people and communities. The status is awarded by an independent panel of judges who evaluate the business across four criteria: strategy, execution, culture, and financials.

Neil Book, President and CEO of JSSI said: “We are honoured to have been recognised as a 2020 US Best Managed Company. This is a testament to our extraordinary team of professionals and their commitment to superior support and service.”

JSSI is one of 27 companies from a wide range of industries – including energy, financial services and health care – honoured in this year’s US Best Managed Company programme.

 

The JSSI Business Aviation Index – at a glance

-Overall flight hours hit record lows, with activity plunging 69.3% between March and April 2020

-Flight hours fell 77.5% year-on-year

-Average flight hours per aircraft across the JSSI portfolio averaged 5.9 hours per asset in April 2020

-Hardest hit segments were newer aircraft aged under five years, followed by aircraft aged six-10 years

-Large cabin aircraft activity slowed the most. Since March 2020, activity has dropped by 84.7%

-Helicopters were least impacted, with flight activity reduced by 27.5% since March 2020

-All regions have been hit hard in April 2020, with month-on-month decreases ranging from 48.5% (Asia Pacific) to 74.2% (Europe)

-Flight activity in every region worldwide is down an average of 27.2% compared with the same four-month period in 2019.

Source: JSSI.

Neil Book, JSSI President and CEO, detected signs of  “a modest rebound”.

 

RELATED ARTICLES

  • JSSI appoints Jill Adams

    READ MORE
  • Leading brokers say jet maintenance programmes add value

    READ MORE
  • JSSI opens new office in Hong Kong

    READ MORE