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North American flights post first year-to-year drop post-pandemic; Europe still setting records

While global flight activity in business aviation grew a fraction of a percent in July, bizav flights in North America dropped for a second straight month, with the month finishing 2.1% down from June. It is also the first time the region has seen flight activity drop year to year since February 2021, which would have been compared to traffic one month before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.The numbers come from the lastest ARGUS International TRAQPak report, which shows North American business flights down 4.4% year to year, while it was a record-setting for a second consecutive month in Europe, with activity up 12.7% from July 2021. The sag in North America accounts for the first year-to-year drop in North America, according to ARGUS, since February 2021. "Business Aviation is still going strong, even with a slight cooling in the North American market," said Travis Kuhn, senior vice president of market intelligence for ARGUS. "Within North America, we did see a yearly decline, but it's important to point out July 2022 was still up 13% from July 2019. Overall demand continues to remain very healthy within the market." All operational categories in North America were negative for the month. Part 91 finished down 4.1% from June. Fractional and Part 135 activity were essentially flat, dropping a small fraction of a percent each. The New England Region posted a 9.4% gain in business flights month to month, and the Northwest Mountain region bounced 17.7%. The Great Lakes region dropped a fraction of a percent, with all other regions posting sizeable drops, with the Southern and Southwest regions seeing the largest plummets by percentages of 10% and 8.2%, respectively. It's the third straight month that the Southern region experienced the largest decline among U.S. regions. The aircraft categories followed the cooling trend. The large cabin segment recorded the largest yearly decline, down 4.7% from July 2021. The turboprop market dropped of 4.4%; mid-size jets were down 4.3%, and small cabin jets were down 4.2%. In the fractional segment, both small and mid-size cabin aircraft recorded yearly increases. European flight activity rose 12.7% from July 2021, a record-setter with more than 102,000 flights, but it was slightly lower than forecasted by ARGUS. Large cabin activity remains strong in Europe, up 19.3% year over year.
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