Flight Friday: Is The Post-COVID Business Aviation Rebound Here To Stay?

Credit: CESSNA

It has been well publicised that the business aviation sector has, comparatively, faired well post-pandemic. Initially the business aviation market rebounded as there were limited scheduled flights available, and even then, there was a perceived ‘risk’ of catching COVID by being in a large airport terminal and proximity to unknown people on the aircraft.

The question that resulted from this was….’was the pivot to business aviation a knee-jerk reaction, or will it stick?’.

This week we look at average monthly hours, by market segment, of business aviation.


As a percentage, when compared to the same month in 2019, the business turboprops and the small jets retuned to average utilization from summer 2020. Medium-sized jets returned to pre COVID19 monthly utilization at the beginning of the second quarter in 2021, with large jets hitting the target in summer 2021.

Utilization, from summer 2021, remains above equivalent month in 2019, however, the amount it has exceeded has slowly come down. Using average hours is a better judge of the market than total hours, as we have seen the reluctance to retire aircraft, and the number of aircraft being delivered continues apace.

So, it does appear that there is a real uptick in business aviation utilization, however it is somewhere between 3-10% depending upon which segment the aircraft falls in.

This data was put together using Aviation Week’s Tracked Aircraft Utilization tool.

Daniel Williams

Based in the UK, Daniel is the Manager of Fleet, Flight and Forecast data for Aviation Week Network. Prior to joining Aviation Week in 2017, Daniel held a number of industry positions analyzing fleet data.