North American Bizav Flight Activity Regains One-Third Of Losses In May

Challenger 350
Credit: Bombardier

Business aviation flight activity in May regained one-third of its losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with flight activity rising 84% from April figures, according to Argus International. 

Compared to a year ago, however, business aviation activity declined 49% in May, with all operational categories in the red. Large jet activity declined the most with a 61.9% drop compared to a year ago, while midsize jet activity fell 53.1%, light jet activity dipped 42.2% and turboprop activity was down 45%. 

Fractional flight activity, meanwhile, dropped 54.2% from a year ago, Part 91 activity fell 50.5% and Part 135 activity declined 45.4%. 

Argus figures include arrival and departure information for all instrument flight rule flights in the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii, the Caribbean and Canada. 

In June, Argus analysts predict activity to fall 26.6% compared to June 2019. 

May posted the largest month-over-month activity increase on record, with all operational categories rising when compared to April.  Midsize jet activity was up the most during May with a 113.6% increase, followed by light jets, which rose 98.5%. Large jet activity was up 93.3%, while turboprop activity increased 56%. 

Fractional activity rose 140.3% from April activity, while Part 91 activity rose 85% and Part 135 activity rose 70.4%. 

Molly McMillin

Molly McMillin, a 25-year aviation journalist, is managing editor of business aviation for the Aviation Week Network and editor-in-chief of The Weekly of Business Aviation, an Aviation Week market intelligence report.