Fractional operators star in January as overall Part 135 and Part 91 flying dips

By Doug Gollan, February 14, 2020

Private aviation flying dipped in January, according to the latest Argus TRAQPak analysis

The first month of the new decade began the way the old decade ended. The results were mixed. There were clear winners and losers. And, it’s hard to say what it means, except that private jet travel continues to ebb and flow.

TRAQPak’s review of year-over-year flight activity from January 2020 compared to January 2019 indicates a 0.5% drop.

Activity by fractional operators was the clear star, jumping 6.6% compared to a year go.

TRAQPak said the gains marked the 17th straight year over year increase for the fractional market.

Such strong performance in the segment likely indicates robust flying for market leader NetJets, although second place Flexjet reported strong-flying over the holidays

January 2020 private jet activity

The biggest growth for the fractionals was in the light jet category, where flights increased 12.1%.

Last year, NetJets launched a jet card for its Embraer Phenom 300 fleet. Argus counts jet card (Part 135 flights) operated by fractional providers in the totals for those share operators.

On the short end of the stick, Part 135 operators recorded a 3.0% decline, hurt by a 6.9% drop in turboprops. Light jet flying was also off 4.7%

Part 91 activity was down 0.4% with large jets seeing a two-tenths of a point gain and light jet flying increasing by 1.8%.

Overall, in January, turboprops took the biggest hit with flying down 3.6% compared to a half-point decrease across the board.

There was red across the board in comparing January results against December with total flying down 5.6%. Both fractional and Part 135 operators saw drops in all categories.

One big shift in January 2020 compared to 2019 was when users flew. Weekday travel dropped 1.1% while flights on the weekend increased by 2.8%.

News for this month appears brighter. TRAQPak analysts predict a 3.1% year-over-year increase.

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