Business aviation flight activity has climbed steadily throughout the year, up 4.5 percent through the first nine months when compared with the same period in 2016, according to the latest Jet Support Services Inc. (JSSI) Business Aviation Index. Flight hours in the third quarter alone were up 2.4 percent year-over-year, marking the fifth consecutive year when third-quarter activity has increased.
The JSSI index tracks global flight activity and aircraft utilization, including jets, turboprops and helicopters. Acccording to the index, the third quarter is the most active period this year, with average per-aircraft use up in every region except North America. Average aircraft utilization reached 29.11 hours in the latest quarter, the highest level since late 2008, when average flight times topped 30 hours.
Meanwhile, overall flight hours during the quarter improved year-over-year in every region except the Middle East and Europe. South America activity rose 7.1 percent; Central America, 8.6 percent; and Africa, 33.2 percent. In North America, flight activity was up 5.1 percent year-to-date and 1.6 percent in the third quarter year-over-year.
“The summer months are consistently the strongest period of the year for flight activity,” said JSSI president and CEO Neil Book. “These are encouraging signs that companies are leveraging corporate jets to conduct business around the world. It’s also promising to see such growth in regional diversity coming from markets outside North America and Europe.”
By industry, aviation and manufacturing notched the largest quarter-over-quarter increase in flight hours at 8.3 percent and 6 percent, respectively. The consumer goods industry saw a 12.7 percent decrease in hours and real estate an 8 percent decrease.