April activity for business aircraft in the U.S. and Canada climbed 2.6 percent year-over-year, thanks to “strong demand” in the Part 91 market, according to TraqPak data released today by Argus International. This was largely in line with the company’s estimate of 2.8 percent growth last month; this month, it is expecting a 2.3 percent increase. Over the past five Aprils traffic has increased by 11.7 percent, from 230,000 flights in April 2013 to about 257,000 last month.
Part 91 activity seems to have awoken from its slumber last month, rising 4.1 percent year-over-year, with gains across all aircraft categories. This category has been mostly anemic over the past year. The 1.3 percent rise logged by Part 135 operators was more muted than in months past, when the operations category has been leading the recovery in flight hours. Fractional flying eked out a 0.6 percent increase.
All aircraft categories saw increases last month, with large-cabin jets once again coming out ahead with a 4.7 percent year-over-year increase. This was followed by turboprops, which jumped 2.6 percent; midsize jets, up 2.2 percent; and light jets, up 1.8 percent.
The only double-digit gain in individual categories last month was in Part 135 large-cabin jet activity, which rose 11.8 percent from a year ago. Paradoxically, fractional large-cabin jet flying sunk by 19.9 percent year-over-year.