Business aircraft activity plummets during pandemic


A new report shows that business aircraft activity in Oklahoma and across the U.S. might as well have been “grounded” in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Things are expected to worsen this month.

Aviation Week reports the activity in North America was down 31.7% compared to a year ago, while April activity is expected to drop 67% as “stay-at-home” orders spread during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Argus International.

In March, the decline began as novel coronavirus cases and orders to stay home increased. The largest dip was in the large jet category with a 37.6% decrease compared to a year ago, followed by a 31.8% drop in both turboprop and midsize jet activity. Meanwhile, light jet activity fell 27.4%.

Part 91 activity had the largest decline with a 36.8% decrease compared to a year ago, while fractional activity was down 30.2% and Part 135 activity fell 25%.

The data includes arrival and departure information of instrument flight rule flights in the U.S., including Hawaii and Alaska, Canada and the Caribbean.

Compared to February, March activity declined 22.4%, with large jet activity down 31.9%, the largest dip. Midsize jet activity decreased 23.6%, light jet activity was down 19.7% and turboprop activity fell 18.1%. Part 91 activity fell 26.3% compared to February, with a 15.9% reduction in Part 135 activity and a 25.6% decrease in fractional activity.

Source: The Weekly of Business Aviation