ARG/US: Flight Activity Down More than 20 Percent
Large-cabin business jet flight activity in December took the biggest hit–26 percent–compared with activity over the same period in 2007, according to the ARG/US year-end business aircraft activity report. The results are somewhat at odds with other market reports, such as the UBS business jet update, which identify the light jet segment as the one that has logged the largest decline. Among Part 135 operators, large-cabin flight activity decreased by 44 percent, compared with a 16.9-percent decline among Part 91 operators and a 29.5-percent decline among the fractionals. Turboprop flight activity suffered the second largest overall decrease–24.1 percent–while the decline in small-cabin jet activity trailed at 22.1 percent. Among Part 91 and fractionals, turboprops and small-cabin jets took the biggest hit. The company reported a year-over-year decrease among all segments of 22.8 percent. According to ARG/US vice president Shirley Mason, program manager for the TraqPaq program that is licensed to track aircraft arrival and departure information for all IFR flights in the U.S., the drop in overall large business jet flight activity is due mainly to reduced charter activity among large jets. Organizations are choosing to charter smaller airplanes because of the cost savings, she said.