Business Aviation on the Road to Recovery: There are many indicators that business aviation is on the road to recovery. Just recently, ARGUS International published a white paper with some extremely interesting analysis on how the market in North America is coping with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as some positive projections about future recovery. The analysts studied data to determine how the pandemic has affected operations and how the market may look in the coming months and shared some intriguing insight.
April 2020 will surely go down as the darkest month for aviation. According to Argus’ data, May 2020 recorded an 84% increase in activity from April, an encouraging improvement. Looking forward, Argus projects that if the August forecast comes to fruition there will be approximately 225,000 business aviation flights in North America that month. While this is down from last year’s monthly average of 260,000, it still represents a 300% increase from the April low of just under 75 thousand flights. Let’s hope August’s performance brings more rapid increases and this trajectory remains.
Another interesting trend that further indicates business aviation recovery being sooner rather than later is that many companies and individuals are seeing this as an opportune time to invest in a private jet. The sales firm Jetcraft has commented that private aircraft sales have been performing well since the pandemic began with there are more first-time buyers entering the market. Though still lower than pre-COVID levels, aircraft sales have done comparatively well since March according to the International Aircraft Dealers Association (IADA).
Undoubtedly, it is the flexibility of business aviation and the uniquely tailored solutions it provides that can respond so well to this current situation. Going forward, and until the situation changes the pandemic will continue to turn more wealthy travelers towards private jets as they seek to take control of their travel. It really is the only viable way to travel, as well as the most secure and safest. I’m so impressed by how operators and ground handlers are setting up, training their staff, and using ingenuity and intelligence to find ways of coping with the WHO sanitization and social distancing guidelines.
Although a global economic recession would seriously impact business aviation recovery in the longer term, the easing of global restrictions and quarantine measures will expedite the process. Either way, from what the experts are telling us, in as much as they can predict, it looks like business aviation is on the road to recovery. And with such encouraging figures being recorded in North America, let’s hope the other continents follow suit in a similar vein in the coming months.
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