Citi Research: Bizjet Flying Continues Rebound

Citi Equity Research said business jet traffic continues to improve, pointing to FlightAware data showing that the number of U.S. flights on Sunday had fallen by only about 12 percent year-over-year. For the seven days ending June 14, business jet flying was down 22.6 percent, according to FlightAware. The post-Covid recovery is notable because the U.S. represents about 80 percent of global business jet traffic, said Citi Equity Research aerospace analyst Jonathon Raviv.

“This improvement is in line with positive rhetoric from our call last week with the CEO of Signature Aviation,” Raviv noted. During that call, Signature chief Mark Johnstone said he expects business aviation to have a continuing and stronger recovery versus the airlines but still predicts the second half to be down from last year.

Raviv said more wealthy individuals appear to be flying, but added that business travel has been slightly slower to rebound. “Undoubtedly, the business jet product has become more differentiated, with flight processing times unchanged and hygiene measures more easily introduced,” he said. “This has attracted some new users.”

According to Raviv, business jet use could also rise post-Covid, citing the fact that some companies are already making their business jets available to less senior executives. “Combined with the propensity to stay away from airports and lower charter rates, these factors could push up utilization,” he concluded.