Argus TRAQPak, one of the two analysts providing regular updates on business aviation flights, is providing industry followers an optimistic look as we move into Fall.
The future of the industry’s recovery has split into two camps. The negative point of view is based on expectations of lower discretionary travel and minimal business flights. The positive outlook sees more newcomers to private aviation, both for leisure and business flights.
Last week, Megan Wolf, COO of Flexjet, said the second-largest operator of fractionally owned private jets, said the company is picking up business travelers who are finding the airlines can’t accommodate their routing and safety needs.
Argus TRAQPak’s September forecast of a year-over-year drop would be a big move up from August, when it says private flights were down 21.2% compared to the same period in 2019. Those numbers were just a 1.8% improvement over July. A common sentiment has been that the private jet recovery may have plateaued.
During August, the average number of weekday flights dropped by 23.6% from 9,601 to 7,332. Weekend flights were only off 10.7% averaging 6,063 per day, down from 6,793.
One strong positive from August was the large jet market. Large jet flights increased by 7.6% from July even if they were off by 27.9% on a year-over-year basis.
Part 91 flying (aircraft owners) continued to have the biggest drag on flight numbers last month. Part 91 was down 27.6% year-over-year, while fractional (91K) was off 16.6%, and Part 135 operators were only off 13.9%.