Charter, fractional flights continue to lead private jet recovery in February

By Doug Gollan, March 18, 2021

Private jets flying for their owners continued to trail charter and fractional fleet flying in the private aviation recovery

Argus TRAQPak’s February report shows a continuing trend to the now nine-month recovery by private jet operators. The strength of the recovery is very much based on what type of customers you have. While charter and fractional fleet operators continue to see tailwinds, Part 91 was flying is still being hampered by lack of demand for business travel.

February 2021 versus a year ago recorded a 12.0% decline overall. However, the second half of the month saw a 7.3% increase in activity from the 1st half.

The results by operational category were all red with Part 135 (charter operators) activity posting the strongest results, down just 3.0% year over year.

Fractional fleet activity declined 8.6%, while Part 91 remained in a familiar place, down 19.6%.

The aircraft categories were also red for the month, with large jets continuing to post the largest yearly drop, down 22.9% after Part 91 large jets dropped 32.5%. Midsize and light jets recorded declines of 11.5% and 6.7%, respectively. The turboprop market reported an activity loss of 10.8%. The Part 135 midsize jet segment was the only individual segment to post a yearly increase, up 0.3% from February 2020.

TRAQPak analysts estimate there will be a 31.4% increase in overall flight activity year over year in March 2021. Traffic is estimated to still be down 10.2% from March 2019.

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