Business aircraft flying in the U.S. and Canada continued its ascent last month, but the 2.6 percent year-over-year increase was once again almost solely due to rising Part 135 activity, according to TraqPak data released today by Argus International. Weaker flying at the fractional providers and especially at Part 91 operators caused activity to miss the company’s estimate for a 4.2 percent increase in March; this month, it is expecting a 2.8 percent rise.
By operator category, Part 135 flying led the pack last month, climbing 7.7 percent year-over-year, while fractional activity ventured back into positive territory, with a 0.6 percent gain over March 2017. Part 91 activity also remained anemic, once again recording a slight loss, falling 0.4 percent from a year ago.
All aircraft categories saw increases last month, with large-cabin jets coming out ahead with a 4.7-percent year-over-year increase, despite a 20.4 percent erosion in fractional large-cabin jet flying. This was followed by midsize jets, up 4.4 percent; turboprops, 1.8 percent; and light jets, 0.2 percent.
The only double-digit gain in individual categories last month belonged to Part 135 large-cabin jets, which rose 15.1 percent from a year ago. All individual categories under Part 91 suffered losses, with the exception of large-cabin jets, which rose 4.5 percent.