ARG/US: Flight Activity Data Shows Ray of Hope

 - March 19, 2009, 12:01 PM

According to ARG/US TRAQPak data, business aircraft flight activity increased 28.55 percent last month over January, possibly indicating early signs of recovery. ARG/US’s data covers all turbine business aircraft on IFR flight plans in the U.S., including international flights departing from or arriving in the U.S. While stressing that this is not yet concrete proof of a recovery of flying activity, ARG/US vice president Shirley Mason told AIN, “We are very interested to see the trend over the coming months.” If month-over-month activity continues to increase, she said, then this would “show signs of a recovery.” The specialized aviation-services firm estimates that flight activity has dropped an average of 1.81 percent per month over the last 12 months, with total flight activity declining 18.51 in that period. Compared with February 2008, business jet and turboprop traffic fell 26.6 percent last month, though it is 23.98 percent when adjusted for the leap day last year. All segments saw year-over-year flight activity decline last month, with large-cabin aircraft taking the largest drop at 41.4 percent. Turboprop activity decreased 19.9 percent year-over-year; light jets, down 28.4 percent; and midsize jets, down 24.1 percent. By operator type, Part 91 flying slipped 15.5 percent year-over-year; Part 135, down 46.7 percent; and Part 91K/fractional, down 28.1 percent.