August private flight activity in North America clocked a 38.7% increase over 2020, good enough to finish as the second busiest month on record, trailing only July 2021. The August activity was 10% higher than 2019’s pre-pandemic private jet flying levels. Total flights were just under the 300,000 mark.
There’s not much letup in sight. ArgusTraqPak forecasts a 28.3% increase in overall North American flight activity year over year in September 2021. That would be a 7.0% increase from September 2019.
Fractional operators showed the strongest gains with a 47.3% increase over 2020 levels, with large-cabin aircraft racking up 66.9% more flight hours during the month than in 2020. Midsize, including super mid, flight hours were up 48.9%, while light jet flight hours gained 46.2%.
Part 135 operators saw flight hours increase 37.0% compared to 2020, with large private jets leading the way on a 57% increase. The midsize jet activity gained 41.5%, light jets were up 36.1%, while turboprops saw a 27.5% boost.
Even Part 91 activity – aircraft operated on a non-commercial basis – saw gains – up 37.7% compared to August 2020.
According to data from Tuvoli, private jet flights to and from resort and second-home market airports during August were up as much as 100% compared to 2019 levels.
The surge in flying has created challenges for operators and customers, and supply chain and labor issues hampering the great economy are impacting private aviation.
North America wasn’t alone in seeing increases, according to Argus. European flight activity rose 36.4% from August 2020. There were over 88,000 business aviation flights recorded across the continent during the month. Across Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific, Argus recorded 38,000 private aviation flights for the month, a 15.3% year-over-year increase.