July private jet flights reach new records

By Doug Gollan, July 29, 2021

Argus and WingX research shows the private aviation rebound is showing no signs of letting up in July

Argus Traqpak’s research data showed June as the busiest month for private aviation since October 2007. Now, the aviation research firm says July 1, 2021, recorded 12,345 business aviation flights in North America. That was the largest single-day of operations since March 20, 2008.

We are looking at an industry that is 5% to 10% larger post-pandemic than it was pre-pandemic

Travis Kuhn, Argus TRAQPak

TRAQPak data dating back to January 1, 2007, shows only 11 days in over 14 years that have surpassed 12,000 flights in one day. July 1 of this year was the sixth busiest day in that timeframe. All 11 of these 12,000+ days took place in 2007 and 2008, except for July 1, 2021.

In its weekly tracking report, WingX’s research notes U.S. private jet flights were up 30% versus the first 26 days of July 2019. So far, it’s the busiest July in the last 10 years. Branded charter operators have flown nearly 50,000 sectors in July. That’s a 35% increase over the comparable period in 2019.

Fractional operator activity is also at record levels, 23% up versus July 2019. Even Part 91 activity is up 20% compared to two years ago. These flights operated for owners, and companies that own their aircraft had been lagging the overall recovery.

Private aviation flights in North America are up 1% year-to-date compared to 2019 and 50% compared to 2020, according to WingX. By comparison, airline activity is 40% below pre-pandemic levels.

“Business aviation continues to show that we are well past recovery mode and into growth mode. While we are seeing strong leisure demand in these numbers it appears we are looking at an industry that is 5% to 10% larger post-pandemic than it was pre-pandemic,” says Travis Kuhn, VP of Market Intelligence at ARGUS International.

Richard Koe, Managing Director of WingX adds, “The predicted upswing in business aviation activity this summer has exceeded expectations, and is apparently unaffected by recent concerns around delta variants.”

Private jet demand surge to continue

Argus TRAQPak analysts estimate that flight activity from July through December will increase 9.9% over the same period in 2019. August and October are estimated to top 300,000 business aviation flights during each month, which would be a first in the TRAQPakdatabase, dating back to January 2007.

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