Argus TraqPak forecasts 1.4% drop in April private jet flights

Fractional operators countered the downward trend with a 12.6% gain in March led by 26.1% growth in large cabin flights.

By Doug Gollan, April 12, 2024

According to Argus TraqPak, in March 2024, private jet flights in North America dropped 4.2% compared to 2023. Its analysts had expected a 2.7% drop.

The disappointing numbers were due to “lower than expected” flights for Spring Break.

Looking to April, Argus expects a 1.4% drop.

Argus SVP Travis Kuhn tells Private Jet Card Comparisons, “March wrapped up Q1 remaining status quo. However, the early data in April has shown an uptick in activity. If that change holds, then we would be looking at improving activity across the North American market. The key market to watch remains the Part 135 market as it continues its recent run of declines.”

March private jet flying

Back to last month, only midsize aircraft saw gains.

Their flight activity increased by one-tenth of a point.

Turboprops saw the most significant drop – down 8.5%, while large cabin aircraft flight hours fell 6.7%

Light jets were 3.2% below March totals in 2023.

March 2024 Private Jet Flight ActivityMarch 2024 private jet flight activity

Across operating categories, only fractional operators saw gains.

They countered the trend with a roaring 12.6% spike in activity.

Large cabin fractional jets saw a 26.1% increase.

Turboprops saw the smallest increase but were still 7.3% ahead of last year.

For Part 135, which represents on-demand charter and jet card, flying was down 6.2% year-over-year.

Large cabin jets (-13.3%) and turboprops (-9.6%) had the biggest drops.

Midsize jets were up 2.5%

Several operators say one impact on the Part 135 numbers is less off-fleet flying by the fractionals.

As Covid demand boomed, big fractionals like NetJets and Flexjet found customers overflying their hours, necessitating more off-fleet flying.

Fractionals buy those off-fleet flights from Part 135 operators.

Sources say the percentage of purchased hours fractional flyers use is back to pre-Covid norms.

For Part 91, all aircraft categories were down, with overall numbers dropping 8.4%.

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