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Business Aviation Activity Bests Even 2019 Numbers

In another sign that the economy is starting to turn around, business aviation activity increased substantially in North America last month, growing 46.2 percent year-over-year.  The biggest surprise is that the March 2021 numbers are actually slightly higher than the March 2019 results, according to the latest TraqPak data from business aviation analyst Argus.  

Business aviation logged 266,585 flights, that’s 33 more than in March 2019 and 84,259 more than in March 2020.  All aircraft and operational categories were up year-over-year in the month, with fractional operations involving light jets leading the way with a 63.6 percent improvement.  Midsize-jet fractional operations were close behind with a 55 percent jump.  In all, fractional operations surged 55.9 percent for the month.

Part 135 operations were up 44.5 percent year-over-year, led by gains across all categories, including a 56 percent increase involving midsize jets and a 54.4 percent jump involving large jets.  Part 91 operations, meanwhile, increased 44.9 percent, with light jets leading the gains in this category with a 54.8 percent increase.

North American operations in March also beat February operations by 29 percent, with midsize Part 135 operations leading the way with a 34.8 percent gain.

TraqPak analysts expect an even greater jump—241 percent—for April when compared with this time last year, when many operations ground to a halt.  That said, however, Argus estimates that April 2021 will show a 2.5 percent drop from April 2019.