While the economy is booming, it apparently won’t have much impact on how many folks will be taking a private jet home for the holidays or away for vacation this year according to the ARGUS TRAQPak 2018 Holiday Business Aircraft Activity Forecast. From December 22 to December 31 the expectation is a year over year decrease at 0.6%. Slightly more people will be flying during the Thanksgiving break with a thin increase of 1.1% over 2017 projected. The forecast comes after September business aviation flying dipped in September due to a slow Labor Day and Hurricane Florence.
The busiest day of the Thanksgiving period is expected to be November 25, 2018, with a forecast total of 10,591 flights followed by 10,241 takeoffs on November 20th. Still, there will be 3,634 flights on Turkey Day.
For the Festive Season TRAQPak predicts that December 31, 2018, will be the largest year over year travel day with an increase of 9.4%, while the Festive Season as a whole is expected to be essentially flat with a 0.6% decrease. If you are planning to fly, you may want to stay away from December 31st where totals are expected to jump by 9.4%. Flights on December 22nd are expected to be down 13.2% and an 8.4% decline on December 29th.
Both fractional and jet card programs typically provide in your contracts the ability to move your departure by three to six hours on peak days to accommodate the strong demand on those days, so planning your holiday travel on slower days may mean you are less likely to get your flights shifted. Providers often need to go off-fleet and charter from third-party operators during peak periods so flying on less busy days may mean you are less likely to get put onto another company if you are flying with an owned, fractional or managed fleet jet card program.
Overall, there will be a projected 791,882 private flights during the fourth quarter equating to 2.1% year-over-year growth. Data is aircraft flight number specific arrival and departure information on all IFR flights in the U.S. including Alaska and Hawaii, the Caribbean and Canada.