CHICAGO, 10 Nov. 2015. Business aviation is still recovering, with global flight hours growing 4.3 percent quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) and the segment operating at 80.7 percent of 2008 peak levels, according to Jet Support Services Inc.’s (JSSI’s) Q3 2015 Business Aviation Index, which tracks flight hours for business aircraft by region, industry, and cabin type.
These latest figures are, on the whole, “indicative of volatility in the global business aviation markets. The decline in oil prices has had a negative impact on the helicopter sector which supports offshore operations and flight hours in the Middle East. Stable economic conditions in North America and Europe are reflected in both quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year flight hour growth. Despite this growth, third quarter business aviation is still well behind 2008 levels," says JSSI President and Chief Executive Officer Neil Book.
Medium- and small-cabin aircraft, the primary choice of aircraft by midsize companies, were this quarter's biggest growth areas, both maintaining positive year-over-year gains in flight hours (information gleaned by segmenting flight hour data by aircraft type).
"As the U.S. economy remains strong and fuel prices remain low, owner/operators are flying small cabin aircraft more, as are midsize companies looking for both access and flexibility," Book says.
From Q2 2015 to Q3 2015, business aviation grew across nearly every market. Africa outpaced expectations as it experienced the largest QoQ increase in over one year.
Noting the African rebound, Book says: "Many foreign investors remain bullish on growth prospects for the region and continue to utilize business aviation to access areas difficult to reach using the airlines. The strong growth also represents a rebound from a historically tough 2014, due to the unprecedented 2014 Ebola outbreak.
"South America's 9.7 percent decline in year-over-year flight activity reflects the weak overall state of the region's principle economies, which the IMF predicts will enter a recession later this year," Book adds.
Year over year, Business Services (12.0%) and Construction (15.6%) demonstrated encouraging double-digit growth.
"Investors continue to deploy capital into the U.S. construction industry, and the sector's growth has outpaced expectations in recent quarters. The robust flight activity in the sector is thus in line with its strong performance in recent months," Book concludes.
Verticals directly involved with the oil industry (Power & Energy and Consumer Goods) reduced third quarter flight hours by 14.9 percent and 14.8 percent year over year, respectively.
For more than 25 years, JSSI has been the only hourly cost maintenance provider covering virtually all makes and models of business aircraft, engines, and APUs. JSSI provides its customers with comprehensive, flexible and affordable financial tools for managing the often unpredictable costs of operating and maintaining nearly all types of turbine-powered aircraft, including jets, turbo-props, and turbine-powered helicopters. JSSI serves customers globally and manages maintenance services through its worldwide infrastructure of certified technical advisors.
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