This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.
While the U.S. business aviation industry was boosted by a strong holiday season, it still finished 14.3 percent below the previous December’s tally, according to data released last week by Argus International in its latest TraqPak Aircraft Activity Report. The data provider noted that for the period of December 21 through the end of the year, flight activity actually exceeded December 2019 by 5.8 percent.
For the month, all operational categories were down, with Part 91 showing the largest erosion, down by more than 23 percent over the previous year, while fractional activity was off by 12.2 percent. Part 135 flights were below their 2019 levels by just 3.8 percent. By aircraft segment, large jet usage decreased by more than 25 percent, followed by midsize (-15 percent), turboprops (-11.5 percent), and light jets (-9.8 percent).
Compared to November, however, the month showed a 3.8 percent increase, with all aircraft segments showing improvement, led by the large-cabin class, which saw an 8.6 percent climb month-over-month, including a nearly 20 increase in the Part 135 segment. Part 91 operations lagged the previous month, with the exception of the midsize category, which saw minor improvement.
In its latest forecast, the company calls for this month to finish at more than 11 percent off of normal activity, in line with its previous longer-term predictions for November, December, and January.