A 38.7% increase in fractional turboprop activity powered the segment to gains, counter to overall private jet flight activity, Argus says
Argus TraqPak analysts forecast a 2.4% decrease in overall North American flight activity year over year in May 2023.
The new projection calls for a slightly bigger dip than the Argus annual forecast that had projected a 1.9% dip in May.
At the same time, Argus says April 2023 numbers were down 7.7% from 2022.
That’s better than the Argus forecast at the beginning of the month, which called for an 8.9% decline.
“Our TraqPak forecast expected that April would be the lowest month on the calendar in 2023, and so far, that has been correct. Overall activity trends remain strong, and we expect to see improving numbers as we move through the coming months,” Senior Vice President Market Intelligence Travis Kuhn tells Private Jet Card Comparisons.
Looking to last month, the results by operational category were mixed for the month, with fractional activity again recording the only yearly increase, climbing 8.1% from April 2022.
The Part 91 market reported losses in all four aircraft segments, finishing at 6.3% from the prior year.
Argus TraqPak April 2023 Private Jet Flight Activity
Part 135 activity remains in the pattern of stable declines from solid demand at the start of last year. The segment finished down 15%.
Large cabin Part 135 – jet cards and charter – had the smallest decrease, down 7.3%
The report comes as jet card charter prices are finally coming down.
Private Jet Card Comparisons reports jet card average prices were down 5.2% at the end of Q1 2023 compared to the end of 2022.
Since then, Wheels Up, Magellan Jets, and Airstream Jets have all announced cuts in their capped and fixed hourly rates.
The Wheels Up cuts, which came along with reduced daily minimums, mean flight cost savings of up to 26%.
April flight activity by cabin category
The aircraft categories were all negative, with turboprops posting the largest decline, down 11.3%.
Midsize cabins followed with an 8% drop, while large cabin jets reported a decrease of 5.8%.
Light jets finished down 4.9%.
The only individual segments recording yearly increases were in the fractional market, with all four segments gaining from April 2022.
The fractional turboprop market recorded the most significant increase, up 38.7% year over year.
PlaneSense, which operates a fleet of 45 Pilatus PC-12s, is the major turboprop fractional player.