Though TraqPak data released today by aviation services company Argus indicates that business aircraft flying continued its upward trend last month, climbing 1.4 percent year-over-year, this wasn’t the big news. “The bigger story was the turnaround in the fractional market, which posted the first year-over-year increase since September 2011,” Argus said.
In fact, the fractional segment posted a 1.5-percent gain from April last year, thanks to “significant increases” in light and large-cabin jets, which offset a 53.1-percent decline in fractional turboprop activity attributable to the Avantair shutdown. But again, the Part 135 segment shined brightest last month, logging a 3.7-percent rise in flying versus a year ago. Activity at Part 91 operators was unchanged, as increases in jet flying exactly counteracted a 3.4-percent decline by Part 91 turboprops.
By aircraft category, jets again moved upward while turboprops slipped. For the fourth consecutive month, large-cabin jet flying saw the largest year-over-year increase, at 6.3 percent, followed by light and midsize jets at 5.1 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively. Turboprop activity, however, dipped by 4.7 percent.
In individual segments, fractional light jets once again came out on top with a 38.2-percent increase. Large-cabin jets in all operating segments logged the next three biggest gains: up 15.4 percent at the fractionals; 7.9 percent at Part 135; and 3.9 percent at Part 91.
Argus TraqPak data provides “serial-number-specific aircraft arrival and departure information on all IFR flights in the U.S. and Canada.”