Argus TraqPak projects 2.7% March dip for private jet flights

After a leap year 2.5% gain in February, Argus expects private jet flight hours to drop this month compared to last year.

By Doug Gollan, March 6, 2024

Argus TraqPak analysts estimate there will be a 2.7% decrease in overall North American private aviation flight activity in March compared to 2023.

February private jet flights in North America increased by 2.5% from last year.

February 2023 numbers were 3% lower than 2022.

The 2022 flight activity was up 29.6% compared to 2021, as the industry enjoyed record demand.

Argus Senior Vice President Travis Kuhn tells Private Jet Card Comparisons, “After several months of declines, we finally got our activity increase, courtesy of leap day.”

He continues, “Overall activity in February was mostly status quo across North America with a slight decline in leap day adjusted activity of 1.7%.”

Fractional activity led the market with a 19.1% gain.

By contrast, Part 91 flying was up 2.2%.

Part 135 – jet cards and on-demand private flights – was down 4% compared to 2023.

All cabin categories saw an increase in the longer February.

Midsize jet activity was up 4.9%, while light jet flying gained 2.4%.

Large cabin jets increased a point while turboprop flying inched up 0.7%.

Large cabin flying spiked 28% for the fractionals, light jets jumped 20.1%, and midsizes jumped 18.2%.

Fractional turboprops saw a solid 9% increase.

For Part 135, only midsize jets were in the black, up 0.8% compared to 2023.

Large cabin jets had the biggest year-over-year drop, with February charter flight hours decreasing by 9.1%.

Light jet activity was down 6.7% as turboprops fell 3.4%.

In terms of what’s next, Kuhn says, “Looking into March, it is usually one of the strongest months on the calendar with improving weather and spring break travel. For the month, we’ll be expecting a slight yearly decline but still estimate to record around 290,000 flights.”

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