Business aircraft flight activity in North America during the first half of the year has recorded year-over-year gains every month, according to a midyear TraqPak report released today by Argus International. In fact, year-to-date flight activity is up 3.9 percent from 2016, while flight hours have risen 6 percent during the same period.
Flight activity continues to be “very strong” in the Part 135 segment, ascending 10.1 percent during the first six months compared with the same period a year ago. Argus also noted “solid gains” in the Part 91K/fractional segment, with flight activity up 5.7 percent in the first half as the industry “has finally managed to put the consolidation behind it.” Meanwhile, Part 91 has been flat this year, declining 0.5 percent year-over-year in the first six months, though Argus said the second half “looks more promising as positive momentum in this segment looks to continue.”
All aircraft categories saw flight-hour gains during the first six months, increasing by an overall average of 6 percent from a year ago, according to Argus. Large-cabin jet flying climbed 10.5 percent, to 475,580 flight hours, followed by a 7.3 percent rise in midsize jets. On the lighter end of the spectrum, turboprop and light jet flying surged 3.2 percent (564,431 hours) and 3.5 percent, (478,433 hours), respectively.
Thursday continues to be the busiest day of the week for business aircraft activity, followed by Friday. According to Argus, six of the top 10 days in the first half were Thursdays and the other four were Fridays.
Argus estimates that flight activity in August, September and October will rise 2.9 percent versus a year ago.