Aviation maintenance support and financial services company Jet Support Services (JSSI) has released the JSSI Business Aviation Index for the fourth quarter of 2018. The index tracks utilisation of approximately 2,000 business aircraft worldwide and reports average flight hours flown on a monthly basis by region, industry and cabin type.
“Despite the dramatic market swings that defined the end of the year, flight hours were up significantly for both the quarter and the year, contributing to 2018 being one of the strongest years in a decade,” says president and CEO Neil W Book. “We have seen flight activity increase worldwide and a growing demand for private travel.”
Unlike commercial aviation, which is largely driven by consumer spending, business aviation is used to conduct core business activities. As the index tracks and reports on the global flight activity and utilisation of business aircraft including jets, turboprops and helicopters, this data ultimately provides early indicators and useful insights into the state of global economic conditions.
Key findings include global flight activity showing a year-to-date increase of 4.9 per cent in 2018 and a year-over-year increase of 4.7 per cent. Regional growth was reported in nearly every segment of the world, with the highest year-to-date increases in Africa at 17.4 per cent, Europe at 8.8 per cent and South America at 8.1 percent. The small cabin segment reported a 6.6 per cent year-to-date increase with large cabins up 5.3 per cent while medium-sized cabins witnessed a decrease of 4.2 per cent. And in every aircraft age group analysed there was a year-to-date jump in flight hours, with newer aircraft with less than five years in service seeing the largest increase of 7.2 per cent.
Three of the nine industry segments analysed experienced year-to-date growth, with aviation at 9.1 per cent, business services at 5.4 per cent, and power and energy at 3.6 per cent.
Aircraft operated under FAA Part 135 for compensation or hire, including non-scheduled charter and air-taxi operations, saw a 9.5 per cent year-to-date increase and an 11 per cent increase in year-over-year activity. Aircraft operated under FAA Part 91 general operating and flight rules, without compensation or reimbursement for carriage of passengers or cargo, witnessed a year-to-date decrease of 1.5 per cent and a two per cent increase in year-over-year activity.