The latest business aviation index from Jet Support Services Inc. (JSSI) reports that the average flight hours in the recently concluded fourth quarter were at the highest levels in a decade. JSSI’s index covers worldwide activity of business jets, turboprops, and helicopters.
Average flight hours climbed 4.5 percent year-to-date and 6.1 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter, according to JSSI. Aircraft utilization averaged 28.65 hours per aircraft in the quarter, “the highest level during this period of any year on record.”
All world regions, with the exception of the Middle East, reported year-over-year increases in flight activity during the fourth quarter. The largest increases were seen in Europe, up 11.6 percent, and Central America, which rose 11 percent over 2016. North America reported an increase of 1.4 percent year over year.
“Flight hour utilization is cyclical, with peak hours occurring in the third quarter,” said JSSI president and CEO Neil Book. “On average, flight hours dip 4 percent in the fourth quarter; however, in 2017 we saw a decrease of just 0.4 percent during this quarter.” He further said flight hour activity is a “strong indicator” of the overall health of the economy.”