Business aviation activity increased substantially in North America last month, growing 46.2 percent year-over-year and slightly edging the March 2019 results, according to the latest TraqPak data from business aviation analyst Argus. In Europe, meanwhile, activity showed more tempered improvement, up 15.8 percent in March, but also up 30.1 percent from February.
In North America last month, business aviation logged 266,585 flights, 33 more than in March 2019 and 84,259 more than in March 2020. All aircraft and operational categories were up year-over-year in the month, with fractional operations involving light jets leading the way with a 63.6 percent improvement. This was followed by midsize-jet fractional operations with a 55 percent jump. In all, fractional operations surged 55.9 percent for the month.
Part 135 operations were up 44.5 percent year-over-year, led by gains across all categories, including a 56 percent increase involving midsize jets and a 54.4 percent jump involving large jets. Part 91 operations, meanwhile, increased 44.9 percent, with light jets leading the gains in this category with a 54.8 percent increase.
March North American operations also outstripped February operations by 29 percent, with midsize Part 135 operations leading the way with a 34.8 percent gain.
TraqPak analysts expect an even greater jump—241 percent—for April when compared with this time last year when many operations had come to a halt. However, Argus also believes that April 2021 will come in 2.5 percent down from April 2019.
In Europe last month, meanwhile, operations were improved across all aircraft categories, with light jets showing the most significant increase at 27.5 percent from March 2020. Midsize-jet operations were up 15.9 percent year-over-year and turboprop operations were up 18.2 percent. Large-jet operations saw only a slight improvement of 2.3 percent.
However, large-jet operations increased notably from February, up 26.6 percent month-over-month. Turboprop flights were up 33.5 percent from February, followed by light jets at 33.5 percent and midsize jets at 26.8 percent.