The most popular islands to travel to by private jet

Trends in private jet travel to a selection of popular islands across the globe

At a glance

  1. The number of private jet flights to our island locations increased by 7% to 58,091 from 54,093 in 2017
  2. This was driven largely by an 80% increase in traffic to islands in Asia-Pacific
  3. The most popular of the 30 islands, or collections of islands, we look at is the Bahamas with almost 16,500 private jet arrivals in 2018
  4. European islands occupy second, third and fourth places with Mallorca, Ibiza and Sardinia seeing 5,564, 5,415 and 5,247 landings respectively
  5. North America has more than five times the number of private jet registrations than the next highest region, Europe, Russia & CIS. So it comes as no surprise that more than a third of the flights we look at originate there
  6. The majority of private jet journeys to European islands originated from within Europe with Italy, France and Spain accounting for 48% of flights, and the UK and Germany combined accounting for another fifth of the total
The full read

Through our global network we have identified ten prominent island destinations for three world regions: Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific. Working with data provided by global private jet specialists WINGX, we have picked out the most popular of these and established some of the major routes and biggest private jet users.

Overall, the number of private jet flights to our 30 island locations increased by 7% to 58,091 from 54,093 in 2017. Although traffic increased to all island groups, this was driven largely by an 80% increase in traffic to islands in Asia-Pacific.

As much private jet traffic is fairly localised, this trend reflects the fast pace of wealth creation in Asia as highlighted in the 2019 edition of The Wealth Report. The most popular of the 30 islands, or collections of islands, we look at is the Bahamas with almost 16,500 private jet arrivals in 2018, a 23% increase on the previous year.

ISLAND APPEAL PRIVATE JET FLIGHTS IN 2018 BY REGION OF ORIGIN

Sources: Knight Frank Research, WINGX

European islands occupy second, third and fourth places with Mallorca, Ibiza and Sardinia seeing 5,564, 5,415 and 5,247 landings respectively. San Juan (Puerto Rico) rounds out the top five with 3,386. However, when looking at those destinations with the biggest international draw, flights from 48 countries landed in San Juan and the Bahamas followed by 46 in Sardinia.

In terms of rising popularity the Bahamas again come out on top with an additional 3,084 flights heading there in 2018. However, islands in Asia-Pacific are seeing the biggest proportional increase in the number of private jet arrivals.

The Philippines alone saw an annual increase of 158% with 1,632 arrivals in 2018 compared with 632 in 2017. Bora Bora and Koh Samui also saw their private jet arrivals double in 2018. Other islands experiencing a significant rise in popularity were Barbados, where traffic rose 35% yearon- year, and Mallorca and Ibiza which saw an additional 500 landings between them.

Overall, the islands in the Americas saw the largest decline in private jet landings. Despite San Juan’s popularity, there were over 800 fewer landings in 2018 when compared with 2017. Both the US Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands saw the number of arrivals drop by more than 300; a fall of 46% in the case of the British Virgin Islands.

One potential reason for this could be the time taken to recover from Hurricane Irma in late 2017 as discussed in our latest Caribbean Insight report. In Europe, Malta and Corsica saw the largest decline in private jet landings with 139 and 199 fewer landings respectively in 2018.

TOP FIVE ORIGIN COUNTRIES FOR PRIVATE JET TRAVEL (% OF ALL ARRIVALS)

Sources: Knight Frank Research, WINGX

Who's flying?

According to The Wealth Report 2019, North America has more than five times the number of private jet registrations than the next highest region, Europe, Russia & CIS.

So it comes as no surprise that more than a third of the flights we look at originate there. Proximity is a key factor when considering the origin of flights. For destinations in the Americas, the US alone accounted for 68% of flights with the Dominican Republic and the US Virgin Islands rounding out the top three.

The majority of private jet journeys to European islands originated from within Europe with Italy, France and Spain accounting for 48% of flights, and the UK and Germany combined accounting for another fifth of the total. In Asia-Pacific, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand were the busiest departure locations.