Business aviation traffic in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean ticked up 1.8 percent year-over-year in April, driven by a strong increase in fractional activity and improvements in Part 91 flights, according to the latest Argus TraqPak monthly report. At the same time though, Part 135 operations marked the 11th consecutive month of decline.
Fractional operations improved 7.7 percent overall last month when compared with April 2018, led by an 11.3 percent jump in light-jet flights. Fractional flights involving midsize jets also improved 12.1 percent in the month. Large-jet fractional flights, however, declined 13.2 percent year-over-year in April, marking the largest slide for any business aviation category or aircraft size.
Part 91 flights strengthened by 2.6 percent in April with all aircraft categories showing increased activity. Midsize-jet flights marked the greatest gain at 3.7 percent, followed by light jets at 2.8 percent. As for Part 135 flights, activity was down year-over-year by 1.3 percent last month as light-jet flights in this category dropped by 7.6 percent. Part 135 flights involving turboprops were also down 0.7 percent. But large-jet Part 135 flights were up 3.1 percent.
When combining the various operation types (Part 91, 135, and fractionals), midsize-jet activity overall showed the strongest, up 4.8 percent. But all aircraft categories showed increases overall. Argus expects traffic to continue to improve this month, forecasting a 1 percent year-over-year increase.