Record Q4 Flight Activity Forecast by Argus

 - October 10, 2021, 5:33 PM

North American business aviation flight activity in the fourth quarter is expected to rise 30.5 percent year-over-year (YoY) from 2020’s figures, and 10.7 percent over Q4 in 2019, the previous high water mark, according to Argus International’s Market Intelligence TraqPak forecast. 

Fractional flying is expected to register the biggest YoY increase (33.4 percent) in North America, followed by Part 91 (33.3 percent), with Part 135 not far behind at 26.3 percent. However, Part 135 is forecast to record the largest gain over corresponding 2019 numbers, with a projected 19.5 percent increase versus fractional (16.7 percent) and Part 91 (a mere 2.6 percent gain).

Holiday flight activity for all three categories is expected to exceed both 2020 and 2019 demand.

The forecast comes on the heels of September’s global flight activity decline of 1.5 percent over August, which was still strong enough to better the previous September’s tally by 37.2 percent, according to Argus.

September flight activity in North America was flat month-over-month, but a 35.9 percent gain compared to one year ago made it one of the strongest months on record. Europe, meanwhile posted a 54.9 percent YoY jump. 

Argus tracked just under 300,000 business aviation flights in North America in September, the second month in a row that activity reached that level. 

Large jets enjoyed the biggest YoY jump in North America—54.2 percent—followed by midsize cabins at 48.1 percent, small cabins at 33.9 percent, and turboprops at 20.3 percent.

More than 87,000 business aviation flights were posted in Europe in September, and aircraft in all categories flew more. Large-cabin jets marked an 81.6 percent surge from a year earlier, while midsize-cabin operations were up 54.4 percent, and flights by small-cabin aircraft were up 55.5 percent. Turboprop operations showed a 31.6 percent improvement.