Private jet flights projected to be down 17% year-over-year in July

By Doug Gollan, July 14, 2020

While July 4th holiday private jet flights increased 5% compared to last year, Argus expects July numbers for private aviation will remain below 2019 levels

Whether or not the rebound in U.S. private jet travel has crested or not remains to be seen.

After a surge during the July 4th holiday – WingX data showed a 5% year-over-year increase – Argus projects when all is said and done, private flights will be 17% behind 2019 for the month.

The silver lining is that it marks an improvement from June when private flights were 26% behind 2019. That was a 40% gain from May, so July numbers would indicate a trendline showing a continued rebound.

Argus data shows private jet flights dropped 26% year-over-year

According to the Argus data, the June recovery varied widely across business aviation. Part 91 (owners flying in their own jets) was off 30%, and Part 91k (fractional operators) was down 25%. Part 135 (charter operators) dipped 20% in June compared to 2019.

Argus includes jet card flights in both the Part 91k and Part 135 numbers. For example, jet card customers using fractional operators NetJets and Flexjet appear under Part 91k.

Private jet flying increased by 40% from June to May, according to Argus

In terms of performance by aircraft type, light jets showed the smallest decline year-over-year (-17%) decline. Large jets (-38%) had the biggest drop. Still, large jets had the biggest month-over-month increase, with flight hours up 51% compared to May.

The June stars where Part 135 flights aboard light and midsize private jets, which dropped 12% and 10% respectively. Both private jet cabin categories also showed strong gains month over month, up 47% and 56%, respectively.

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