Wealthy Americans are beginning to take to the skies again, with the country’s vast business-jet fleet showing a clear increase in flights during the first few weeks of this month.
Flight activity that fell 77% in April from a year earlier was down only two-thirds in the first 13 days of May, according to Signature Aviation Plc, the world’s largest provider of ground handling and refueling facilities for business and general aviation planes.
“Encouragingly, we have seen some early signs of an improvement,” Signature Chief Executive Officer Mark Johnstone said in a statement Friday, adding that the steeper April decline was a reflection of more customers observing temporary stay at home orders.
Some U.S. states have begun to ease coronavirus lockdowns as the number of new cases across the country slows and president Donald Trump presses for a reopening of businesses. Private flights may rebound more quickly than the commercial sector given the higher degree of inherent social distancing, though they could also be more affected by the virus’s economic impact.
London-based Signature — which changed its named from BBA Aviation last year — has the bulk of its bases in the U.S.