North American flight activity marked the strongest April on record last month, up 16.7 percent from a year ago, according to Argus International’s latest Aircraft Activity Report. European activity, meanwhile, jumped 74.8 percent from April 2021, displaying “little indication of an overall slowdown,” according to the report detailing Argus TraqPak data of IFR business turboprop and jet activity.
Globally, business aircraft activity increased by 24.5 percent from a year ago, even as it slowed by 2.2 percent from March.
In North America, Part 91 activity logged the greatest gains in April, up 20.1 percent, followed by Part 135 at 14.6 percent, and then fractional at 12.2 percent. Large-cabin jets led the surge in year-over-year activity with a 31.5 percent increase overall and a 36.6 percent increase in Part 91 operations alone.
Midsize-cabin activity was up by 20.6 percent year-over-year in April and small-cabin activity by 13.6 percent. Turboprop activity lagged the gains in business jet flights but was still up 8.5 percent from a year earlier.
Compared with March, April activity slid by 2.7 percent in North America. But Argus said this is a typical drop in monthly activity. All operation activities were down by low single digits. Although, the eastern half of the U.S. fared better in the monthly comparisons.
Similarly, in Europe, large-cabin jets drove the flight gains, up 155.8 percent last month. Midsize cabins followed at 54.7 percent, small cabins at 53 percent, and turboprops at 44 percent. Argus reported there were more than 76,000 business aviation flights across Europe during the month. Compared with March, all activity was up by low single digits except for small-cabin flights, which were off by 0.5 percent.
In other regions of the world, activity was up 17.7 percent from a year earlier but down 7.2 percent from March. Turboprops saw the biggest increase year-over-year up 22.3 percent, followed by large-cabin jets at 16.8 percent, small-cabin jets at 16.1 percent, and midsize-cabins at 12.7 percent.
Argus anticipates continued strong growth in flight activity in May, projecting that flights will be up 14 percent in North America and 43.8 percent in Europe, year-over-year.