Hurricane, Slow Labor Day Drag Down U.S. Bizav Flying

 - October 11, 2018, 10:57 AM

Business aircraft flying in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean slumped 5.2 percent year-over-year last month, largely due to the impact of Hurricane Florence and a slow Labor Day, according to TraqPak data released yesterday by business aviation research firm Argus International. The company had predicted a 1 percent increase last month; it foresees sunnier skies this month, forecasting a 2.2 percent jump.

Despite the dismal results, fractional flying actually managed to stay in positive territory last month, climbing 1.1 percent from a year ago. That’s where the good news ends, however. Part 91 operations fell 3.1 percent, while Part 135 charter, which has largely buoyed U.S. business aircraft flying over the past several years, plummeted by 10 percent.

Activity was also down in every aircraft category last month. Light jet flying fared the worst, falling 8.1 percent year-over-year, followed by large-cabin jets, -6.8 percent; turboprops, -4.7 percent; and midsize jets, -2.5 percent.

The only gains in individual categories last month were in fractional light and midsize jet activity, which climbed 4.7 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively, from a year ago. Meanwhile, large-cabin fractional flying suffered the most, slumping 24.6 percent. The only other double-digit loss was in the light jet charter activity, which fell 16 percent year-over-year.