Average flight hours per business aircraft exceeded the 30-hour ceiling—at 30.34 hours—for the second consecutive quarter, according to the Jet Support Services Inc. (JSSI) business aviation index for the third quarter. Average flight hours increased 5.7 percent year-over-year. Its index tracks approximately 2,000 business aircraft worldwide.
“This positive trend in aircraft utilization demonstrates a high level of confidence in current economic conditions. The continued growth this year, with back-to-back quarters of flight hour averages not seen since 2008 and a year-over-year increase of 5.7 percent, is a testament to today’s demand for private travel,” said JSSI CEO Neil Book.
Of the nine industries analyzed by JSSI, six reported an increase in flight activity quarter-over-quarter. The largest growth was in the healthcare sector, with a 7.9 percent rise, followed by construction, 4 percent; business services, 2.6 percent; power and energy, 2.3 percent; aviation, 1.7 percent; and financial services, 1.6 percent. Flight activity in the manufacturing sector slid by 11.8 percent, while that for the real estate and consumer goods segments fell 9.9 percent and 1 percent, respectively.
By region, significant quarter-over-quarter increases were reported in the Middle East and Africa, which jumped 39.4 percent and 37.6 percent, respectively, in average flight hours. This was followed by South America, up 11.4 percent, and North America, 1.6 percent. Decreases were seen in Central America, with a drop in average flight hours of 15.7 percent; Asia-Pacific, down 8.7 percent; and Europe, falling 1.4 percent.
Another bright spot is a rebound in the helicopter industry, which reported a 21.9 percent increase in average flight hours in the third quarter, said JSSI.