The positive momentum for business aircraft flying in January apparently didn’t continue into February, with flight activity in this segment falling 4.4 percent year-over-year last month, according to TraqPak data released on Tuesday by aviation services company Argus.
Charter aircraft (Part 135) flying was the only operational category to experience a gain, climbing by 5.5 percent from a year ago and marking its fifth consecutive monthly increase. Part 91 activity, a bellwether during the Great Recession, slid 8 percent from last February, while fractional flying fell by 10.4 percent. Notably, Argus has reclassified CitationAir from a fractional to a Part 135 operator due to the changes in the company’s business model.
By aircraft category, large-cabin jet activity led the way with 2.4-percent growth year-over-year. But all of the other categories were in the red: turboprops, -9.3 percent; midsize jets, -4.1 percent; and light lets, -1.7 percent.
In individual market segments, there were more double-digit gains from the Part 135 segment, with midsize and large-cabin charter jet flying up from last year by 15.1 percent and 11.9 percent, respectively. Fractional midsize jets posted the largest decline, down 12.1 percent from a year ago.
Argus TraqPak data provides “serial-number-specific aircraft arrival and departure information on all IFR flights in the U.S.”