Business Aviation Flying Activity Returns to Positive Territory

After posting a slight 0.4-percent drop in April, business aircraft flight activity in the U.S. returned to positive territory last month, with a 2.7-percent year-over-year gain as a result of more flying at Part 91 private operators and fractional providers, according to TraqPak data released yesterday by aviation services company Argus. Fractional flying led the pack with a 7.9-percent increase from a year ago, with Part 91 activity up 6.5 percent. However, Part 135 charter flying dived last month by 5.8 percent versus May 2010, continuing a four-month slump in the segment on a year-over-year comparison basis. By aircraft category, large-cabin jet activity continued to dominate, posting a healthy 10.5-percent rise. The midsize and light jet segments followed with increases of 5.3 and 4.2 percent, respectively, while turboprop flying fell by 2 percent from a year ago. Looking at individual market segments, fractional large-cabin flying saw the largest gain with a whopping 20-percent climb. Thanks largely to activity at Avantair, fractional turboprop flying also surged by 16.5 percent last month. Other double-digit increases included Part 91 light and large-cabin jets, which were up 12.1 and 10.3 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, the Part 135 turboprop segment experienced the largest decline, down 10.1 percent year-over-year. This marks a consecutive double-digit year-over-year decline in that individual market segment. Argus’s TraqPak data “is serial-number-specific aircraft arrival and departure information on all IFR flights in the U.S.”

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