Super Bowl Charter Traffic Plunged 25 Percent

Data company WingX says the decrease reflects a decline in charter activity.

Hundreds of jets typically arrive for the Super Bowl, But the total decreased for this year’s event. [Credit: iStock]

While numerous reports leading up to Super Bowl LVII noted hundreds of private jets flocking to several airports in and around host city Glendale, Arizona, a new report indicates the actual number of chartered flights was down compared with last year’s big game.

WingX, a data company that tracks business aviation flights, said arrivals for the event declined by 25 percent compared with the 2022 game in Los Angeles, reflecting a decrease in Part 135 operations in the U.S. 

The company reported that 2.5 hours before kickoff, 228 business jets were parked at nearby airports including Glendale Municipal Airport (KGEU), Phoenix Sky Harbor (KPHX), Phoenix Deer Valley (KDVT), and Phoenix Goodyear (KGYR). The number of parked aircraft fell to 67 19.5 hours after kickoff, WingX said.

According to the WingX report, arrivals totaled 562 for Super Bowl LVII, making it the fourth busiest for air traffic in the past five years. There were 752 arrivals for the previous year’s event in Los Angeles, and 356 in Tampa during 2021 when travel was more heavily limited by the pandemic.

The 2020 Super Bowl in Miami holds the record for business jet arrivals at 833. There were 569 arrivals for Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta in 2019.  

WingX has not responded to requests for additional information and analysis, nor have the National Business Aviation Association or the Corporate Aviation Association.

WingX said global business jet activity is essentially flat now compared with a year ago but 12 percent higher than the same period in 2021. 

“Charter is the relative weak spot, coming off huge highs in the last 12 months,” the report said, noting that branded charter operations are down 17 percent compared to this time last year, though still 13 percent higher than in 2019.

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

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