US private jet market ‘to continue record growth’: Airbus


The US private jet market, currently numbering 14,632 aircraft or 62.5% of the world’s fleet, will continue record growth building on pre-Covid flight activity, according to research from Airbus.

Sean McGeough, vice president and head of Airbus Corporate Jets North America, said: “The US business aviation sector is the biggest in the world, and it is growing, in the first six months of 2022, the number of business aviation departures in the US was 15.2% higher than during the same period in 2019.”

McGeough told Corporate Jet Investor (CJI): “Many flight departments and fractional ownership card holders I have spoken to have already exceeded their flight allocation for the year. You will continue to see year-over-year growth in private jet travel never seen before.”

McGeough attributed this increase in demand to the lifestyle changes arising from the global pandemic: “People want to meet face-to-face and thus there was a drastic increase in the number of passengers flying privately for the first time,” he told CJI, “Customers re-evaluated values brought by business aviation, such as privacy, sanitary benefits to avoid crowded airports [and] freedom of schedule.” Also the big reduction in scheduled commercial flights – particularly among regional carriers – had also boosted the number of new entrants for private jet aviation.

Heavy or long-range jets accounted for 37.5% of the US fleet, with light jets totalling 36.5%, midsize 20.5% and very light jets at 5.5%.

“Because of the huge size of the US and its importance on the global stage, over one-third of private jets registered in the country are categorised as heavy or ultra-long range, which is where we focus,” said McGeough.

The Airbus research also revealed the three states with the largest private jet fleets are Texas, Florida and California with 1,651, 1,619 and 1,431 private jets respectively. Heavy jets accounted for 33.9%, 44.2% and 50.6% of each state’s fleet.

Houston was named as the US city with the largest private jet fleet of 329 aircraft. That was followed by Dallas with 327 jets, Fort Lauderdale with 307, Van Nuys with 273 and Miami with 229 private jets.

Meanwhile, McGeough told CJI that most of the ultra-long range (ULR) aircraft are operated within the US or to South America or Europe, flying for only a small part of the 17 hours duration. “Data shows in 2019 that only 1.4% of all the ULR aircraft based in the US fly further than 5,500 nautical miles,” he said. “This is another reason why the ACJ Two Twenty has such a strong value proposition at 5,650 nm intercontinental range, whereas other aircraft have range capacities that are well underutilised.


US private jet market – at a glance

  • 14,632 private jets in the US, about 62.5% of the world’s fleet
  • 5% are categorised as heavy or long-range, 36.5% as light, 20.5% as midsize and 5.5% as very light jets
  • Texas has the most with 1,651, followed by Florida (1,619), California (1,431), New York (487) and Georgia (439) 

Source: Airbus.