August business aviation flight activity in North America dropped 3.8 percent year-over-year (YOY), according to the latest Argus International TraqPak report. This was steeper than its forecast 0.1 percent decline. “Prior to the month, we had expected activity to show some slight signs of improvement, but that did not materialize,” Argus said. Month-over-month activity did show an increase, with fractional up 4.9 percent, Part 91 up 2.7 percent, and Part 135 up 0.4 percent.
The pre-Covid peak in North America saw an average of 260,000 flights per month; the figure jumped to 306,000 at the post-Covid peak. The average during the past 12 months has been 292,000. “The industry still looks good, but we are off from the post-Covid highs,” Argus reported. “Going forward, it will be important to keep an eye on Part 135.”
Fractional fliying, the sole segment with positive YOY numbers, increased 7.9 percent in August. Part 91 operations dropped an average of 5.3 percent, with in-segment turboprops down 2.4 percent; light jets, -3.1 percent; midsize jets, -13 percent; and large-cabin jets, -3.3 percent.
On the Part 135 side, the average drop was 6.5 percent, with large-cabin jets the only in-segment category seeing YOY growth—at 3 percent. Part 135 light jet operations dropped by 14.9 percent YOY. In Europe, activity dropped an average of 9.4 percent YOY and 1.61 percent month-over-month.