Global flight activity cooled by 1.5 percent month-over-month in September but was strong enough to remain 37.2 percent higher than in the same month in 2020, according to Argus International’s Market Intelligence TraqPak report for September. Flights were flat month-over-month in North America, but a 35.9 percent yearly gain nevertheless made it one of the strongest months on record. At the same time, Europe posted a stronger jump in operations in September, up 54.9 percent from a year ago, Argus reported.
Argus expects the upward trends to continue this month, with flight activity 31.5 percent above 2020’s level and 11.8 percent above 2019's in North America. Meanwhile, European activity is forecast to surge by 62.2 percent year-over-year from September 2020.
Also releasing its fourth-quarter/holiday forecast, Argus expects the year to end strong, up 30.5 percent from fourth-quarter 2020 and up 10.7 percent over the same period in 2019 in North America.
Argus tracked just under 300,000 business aviation flights in North America in September, the second month in a row that activity has reached that level. September’s activity in the region was up 14 percent from September 2019. All operational categories improved year-over-year, with fractional operations leading the way with a 42.2 percent gain, followed by Part 91 at 35 percent and Part 135 at 34.8 percent.
Large jets enjoyed the biggest year-over-year jump in North America—54.2 percent—followed by midsize cabins at 48.1 percent, small cabins at 33.9 percent, and turboprops at 20.3 percent.
Compared with August, North American activity was down 0.9 percent with Part 91, the only sector to log a month-over-month increase, up 2.5 percent.
More than 87,000 business aviation flights were posted in Europe in September and aircraft in all categories flew more. Large-cabin jets marked an 81.6 percent surge from a year earlier, while midsize-cabin operations were up 54.4 percent and flights by small-cabin aircraft were up 55.5 percent. Turboprop operations showed a 31.6 percent improvement. Month-over-month, though, operations were down 1 percent overall in Europe.
The remaining regions combined for 33,000 business aviation flights, showing a third consecutive month-over-month cooling but also a 19.4 percent improvement from September 2020.