Argus: Business aviation operations continue to decline in Q4


Business aviation operations across the US and Europe have slowed going into the fourth quarter (Q4) down 16.4% and 23.1% respectively according to ARGUS International’s latest TRAQPak report.

Looking at the US market, all aircraft and operational categories indicated year-over-year (YoY) declines. Part 91 saw the biggest drop, down 24.1% from 2019. Fractional and Part 135 activity fared better with fractional activity declining 14.5%, and “thanks to a strong showing in light jet activity” Part 135 activity dropped 6.4%.

Large jets recording the largest yearly drop in the aircraft category section, finishing down 27.7%. Mid-size and light jets recorded declines of 17.0% and 11.0% respectively. Whilst, the turboprop market reported an activity loss of 14.6%.

Month over month, November business aviation flight activity posted a decrease to finish down 10.9% from October 2020 — a decline Argus said it expected. Part 91 flight activity posting the largest decrease, down 14.0% for the month. Fractional activity finished with a decrease of 10.0% and Part 135 activity closed out November with a 7.5% monthly drop.

Aircraft categories were also negative for the month with light jets posting the largest monthly decrease, down 12.4%. Mid-size jets followed with a 10.6% decrease and large jets saw a 6.0% activity drop. Turboprop activity reported an 11.8% loss for the month.

ARGUS added that it expects activity to decline further going into December.

Crossing the Atlantic a similar pattern emerges. The aircraft categories were all down YoY, with large jets continuing to post the largest decline, down 34.2% from November 2019. This is due to super long range jets recording a 42.6% yearly decline and base large jets dropping 29.9%.

Mid-size jets followed with a loss of 26.9% following a super mid jets decline of 28.9% and base mid jets dropping 25.6%. The light jet segment posted a decline of 16.9% after very light jets saw their recent growth grind to a halt in November, finishing down 10.5%.

The turboprop market saw single and multi-engine activity drop 17.9% & 12.1% respectively from November 2019. The overall turboprop segment was off 14.0% year over year.

Looking at month over month in Europe, business aviation flight activity posted a month over month decrease to finish down 26.0% from October 2020.

Again, aircraft categories were all negative for the month with mid-size jets posting the largest decline, down 31.8%. Light jets followed with a decrease of 27.0% and large jets struggled for the month as well, recording a 25.6% drop in activity. The turboprop market reported a decline of 30.0% for single-engine turboprops and 16.0% for multi-engine turboprops. The overall turboprop segment reported a 20.9% decline.

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