This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.
North American business aviation flight activity reclaimed a third of the Covid-19-induced losses last month, rising 84 percent month-over-month but still down 49.2 percent from a year ago, according to TraqPak data released today by Argus International. The company’s forecast expects more post-Covid recovery this month, predicting a 26.6 percent decline from June 2019.
Year-over-year, Part 91, charter, and fractional flying in May decreased 50.5 percent, 45.4 percent, and 54.2 percent, respectively. And following recent trends, business aircraft on the lower end of the market are recovering faster than larger jets. Light jet flying fell 42.2 percent year-over-year, followed by turboprops, -45 percent; midsize jets, -53.1 percent; and large-cabin jets, -61.9 percent.
While May traffic fell short of Argus's optimism two weeks ago about a potential overall triple-digit increase month-over-month, fractional flying did hit this mark, rising 140.3 percent above April levels. Part 91 flying was up 85 percent from April, while charter flying rose 70.4 percent month-over-month. Notably, midsize jets logged the largest month-over-month gain, surging 113.6 percent. Light jets gained 98.5 percent from April, while large-cabin jets were up 93.3 percent. Turboprops performed the worst from April, rising just 56 percent.
The Southeast was the busiest region in May with 38,309 departures, more than double that of the next-closest southern West Coast region.