Business aircraft flying continued its positive trend so far this year, with activity climbing 1.1 percent last month from March 2013, according to the TraqPak data released yesterday by aviation services company Argus. Its analysts also estimate that overall flight activity this month will rise 0.4 percent from last year.
Part 135 charter flying powered the overall increase in March, logging a 4.9-percent gain from a year ago. Overall Part 91 activity was unchanged from the same month last year, though the mix was more favorable as Part 91 turboprop flying fell 4.6 percent and large-cabin jets jumped 10.8 percent. Fractional activity, meanwhile, slumped by 3.1 percent year-over-year.
By aircraft category, jets continued to climb while turboprops again lost ground. Large-cabin jet flying saw the largest year-over-year increase, at 10.4 percent, followed by light and midsize jets at 3.3 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively. Turboprop activity sank by 4.4 percent.
In individual segments, fractional light jets soared to the top with a 23.9-percent increase. Large-cabin jets, in all their operating segments, also were big gainers last month: up 11.5 percent at the fractionals; up 10.8 percent at Part 91; and up 9 percent at Part 135. The largest loss in individual market segments was in fractional turboprops, down 52.7 percent in the wake of the Avantair shutdown.
Argus TraqPak data provides “serial-number-specific aircraft arrival and departure information on all IFR flights in the U.S. and Canada.”