Part 91 Operators Drive Business Aircraft Activity Growth

Thanks to Part 91 operators, overall U.S. business aircraft flight activity eked out a 0.5-percent increase last month versus a year ago, according to TraqPak data released yesterday by aviation services company Argus. Part 91 activity rose a healthy 6 percent year-over-year, but the Part 135 charter and Part 91K fractional segments both saw activity fall by 7.2 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively. By aircraft category, large-cabin jet activity climbed 3 percent last month over January 2010, while midsize jet flying was up 2 percent and light jets showed a modest 0.7-percent rise. Turboprop activity, however, fell 1.5 percent from a year ago. Bucking the decrease in both its aircraft category and operational segment, fractional turboprop activity managed to garner the biggest year-over-year gain of all individual market segments, climbing 8.2 percent over the same month last year. During the downturn, fractional turboprop activity has been one of the few bright spots, due almost solely to increased flying and fleet growth at Avanti fractional provider Avantair. 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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