North American private jet flights dropped 5.8% in March compared to 2023 as fractional operators bucked the trend
Fractional operators saw a 6.4% increase in North American private jet flight activity during March, bucking the trend.
Overall private aviation flying was down 5.8%, according to Argus TraqPak.
At the beginning of the month, Argus had forecast a 4.6% decline. Its full-year forecast from January had expected a 3.8% decline last month.
“March produced the same demand pattern we’ve seen in business aviation of late. We expected a surge in activity for spring break, which occurred, but it was down from the high month in March 2022. We continue to monitor Part 135 demand in North America and large cabin demand in the European market as both have been lagging behind the rest of the industry,” says Travis Kuhn, Senior Vice President, Market Intelligence.
All aircraft sizes declined, with midsize jets falling the most, down 8.5% from March 2022.
Turboprops performed the best, declining only 2.7%.
Part 91 flying was down 4.3%, with turboprops doing the best, just two-tenths of a point below last year.
In Part 135, which represents jet cards and on-demand charters, small cabin jet flying dropped 18.2%, while midsize jets dropped 17.2%.
Turboprop flying was also down, off 6.1%. Large cabin jets were 4.8% off last year.
For fractional operators, small jets saw a 12.7% surge in flying, followed by turboprops with a 5.2% gain.
Midsize jets were 4.5% up from 2022, and large cabin flying increased by 2.8%.
March 2023 Private Jet Flight Activity
The two biggest fractional operators – NetJets and Flexjet – have been adding new jets at a rapid pace, with NetJets apparently sold out of delivery slots for the Phenom 300 through October 2024.
Argus expects April private jet flying in North America will fall 8.9% from 2022.
Its full-year forecast had predicted a 7.2% decline.
What type of May flowers April showers bring, we’ll have to wait to see.