North American business flights post best April ever, despite drop from March ; Europe up year to year

Despite overall economic and geopolitical woes, global flight activity remains strong, looking at the latest data from ARGUS International.

It shows the number of global business aircraft flights dropped slightly in April, compared to March, but was up 24.5% compared to April of last year. In North America, it was another all-time high, up 16.7% year to year, while European business-flight traffic improved 74.8%.

“Even with all of the external dynamics, business aviation continues to follow the growth trend we expected in 2022,” said Travis Kuhn, senior vice president of market intelligence for ARGUS. “Activity is holding strong from the gains made in 2021 and we expect that to continue; although, we do anticipate the growth rate will narrow as we move throughout the remainder of the year.”

The North American results by operational category showed all three categories rising between 12% and 20% for April, with Part 91 activity remaining the strongest growth segment, up 20.1% year to year. The large cabin segment still holding on to the top spot among aircraft sizes, up 31.5% from April 2021. Mid-size jets saw a gain of 20.6%, while light jet activity increased 13.6%.

It was more of a mixed bag in the U.S., as flight activity month-to-month dropped 2.7%, a number the ARGUS report called “expected.” New England flight activity rose 11%, comparing April to March; the Northeast states saw 6.1% growth, Southern states, 3.4%, and the Great Lakes Region a 0.4% gain.

Meanwhile, flight traffic in the Northwest Mountain region dipped 25.6%, the Western Pacific region 6.9%, the Central region 6.4%, and the Southwest region 4%.

Looking ahead, ARGUS TRAQPak analysts estimate there will be a 14% increase in overall North American flight activity year over year in May 2022, with European activity rising 43.8%.

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