Business Aircraft Flying Maintains Momentum into 2014

 - February 18, 2014, 3:19 PM
Business aircraft flying in January 2014 was helped by a 6.1 percent jump in light jet activity. Fractional and charter activity in this jet segment logged double digit gains of 24.7 percent and 13.3 percent, respectively. (Photo: Bombardier Aerospace)

Business aircraft activity maintained its positive momentum into the new year, thanks to a robust Part 135 segment, according to the latest TraqPak data from aviation services company Argus. Last month, flying increased 1.8 percent from the same period a year ago, the company said.

Part 135 charter activity was up 8 percent year-over-year, marking more than a year of consecutive increases in this segment. Meanwhile, Part 91 and fractional flying decreased marginally, falling 1.1 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively. While fractional activity is still suffering to some extent, the effect of the Avantair shutdown on the segment as a whole appears to be waning.

By aircraft category, jets continued their climb and turboprops lagged again. Large-cabin jet flying posted a 9.7-percent increase, while light and midsize jet activity rose by 6.1 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively, year-over-year. Turboprop activity declined by 6 percent.

Looking at individual segments, light and large-cabin jets at both fractional and charter operators posted double-digit gains. At the fractionals, these aircraft saw gains of 24.7 percent and 13.3 percent, respectively, while in the Part 135 world they rose by 11.3 percent and 10.7 percent, respectively. The largest loss in individual market segments was in fractional turboprops, down 58.7 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.”