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BizAv Surges Over Memorial Day Weekend

WINGX released its weekly Business Aviation Bulletin, showing a strong recovery for global aviation activity in the month of May.The tide is turning as vaccination programs start to release restrictions on all aviation activity, with an emphasis on leisure and domestic travel. Memorial Day demonstrated this in the United States. Business aviation flight activity during the recent Monaco Grand Prix and UEFA Finals showed modest travel compared to pre-pandemic, underlining the recovery lag in Europe. Elsewhere there are much stronger rebounds, with the Middle East standing out.GLOBALMay saw strong recovery for global aviation activity, with total fixed-wing activity up 166% year-over-year, but down 37% compared to May of 2019. Business aviation activity in May 2021 was less than 1% off from May 2019 levels. For the year so far, almost 2.5 million business jet and prop sectors account for 23% of all fixed-wing activity, trailing the comparable 5-month period of 2019 by less than 5%. Global airline sectors are still almost 50% behind compared to 2019. In the business aviation sector, branded charter and fractional operators are now moving ahead of comparable 2019 volumes.NORTH AMERICABusiness aviation flight activity surged over Memorial Day weekend, with 32,000 flights in the Friday to Monday period, compared to just 17,000 in 2020. Memorial Day in 2021 saw 4,000 more departures than the same holiday weekend in 2019.Scheduled airline traffic was up 25% on the 2020 Memorial Day weekend, but still 28% down from the same weekend in 2019. At the regional level, the US is seeing a strong recovery from the South West, with Florida being the busiest global hub. It saw nearly 50,000 more business aviation departures in May than the next busiest state, Texas. Business jet and prop activity out of airports in Florida is running 34% ahead of May 2020, and 18% ahead of May 2019. Light and super-mid activity remain dominant and busier than ever to-date in 2021, while heavy jets are struggling 14% below 2019 levels.EUROPEBusiness aviation is recovering at a slower pace in Europe but is beginning to pick up. For the month of May, flights were up 30% compared to 2020, still 17% below 2019. Spain was the largest market to achieve May 2021 levels that surpassed 2019, while markets like France lagged 2019 activity by 20%. The UK still trails 2019 levels by 46%.
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