This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.
North American business aviation activity continued to rebound on a monthly basis from the Covid-19 pandemic-related downturn, but last month’s tally was still down 19.6 percent from July 2019, according to Argus’s latest TraqPak report. Flights in the U.S., Caribbean, and Canada were up 9.4 percent from June with all categories of aircraft and operations showing improvement. Turboprops involved in fractional operations showed the largest month-over-month gain, up 25.2 percent in July.
Turboprop activity overall was up 14.1 percent, leading the aircraft categories in the month-over-month improvements. However, large jets followed next with a 10.2 percent improvement throughout all operations and a 12.6 percent jump specifically in fractional flights. Part 135 flights, including all aircraft categories, improved 12.3 percent from June to July, fractional was up 11.8 percent, and Part 91 flying 6.5 percent.
However, the continued ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic are still evident in the year-over-year comparison, where all categories of aircraft and operations remain down. Large-jet fractional flights were still off 32.4 percent last month when compared with July 2019.
Overall, Part 91 lagged the most, with flights down 25.2 percent from a year earlier, while Part 135 was the strongest, off just 11.9 percent from a year earlier. Light-jet Part 135 flying, in particular, showed a rebound, down just 6.5 percent from the year earlier.
Argus predicts the year-over-year gap will increase this month with a 21 percent decline. This comes as August typically sees a pick-up in activity. While that is expected to hold true again this year, that increase will not be at the levels of previous years, particularly in light of the resurgence of Covid-19 cases, the economic uncertainties, and continuing restrictions.
However, Argus expects more growth in September and October.