U.S. Business Aircraft Flying Ends 2017 with a Gain

 - January 11, 2018, 12:05 PM
Business aircraft flying in the U.S. rose 2 percent in December, thanks to increases in activity of large-cabin jets, such as this Gulfstream G550, as well as midsize jets. (Photo: Gulfstream Aerospace)

Business aviation flight activity last month in the U.S. fell short of forecast (5.6 percent growth), but still managed to post a 2 percent year-over-year increase, according to TraqPak data released today by Argus International. Analysts at the business aviation services company are calling for a 3.3 percent gain in flying this month.

By operational category, Part 135 flying came out on top, rising 4.6 percent from a year ago, while fractional activity wasn’t far behind, with a 4 percent increase. But Part 91 flying once again slipped into negative territory, falling 0.5 percent year-over-year, with gains in midsize and large-cabin jets more than offset by losses in turboprops and light jets.

Despite an 8.3 percent resurgence in fractional turboprop flying last month, the aircraft category remained flat year-over-year. Light jet activity was equally anemic, logging a 0.1 percent decrease. However, midsize and large-cabin flying saw solid gains last month, ascending 4.2 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively, from a year ago.

In individual categories, only Part 135 large-cabin jets experienced double-digit gains, climbing 11.2 percent year-over-year. Large-cabin fractional activity recorded a 5.8 percent loss over the same period.

Argus’s TraqPak data provides “flight-number-specific aircraft arrival and departure information on all IFR flights in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean.”