Recent reports show that business aviation flight hours continue to stall begging the question "Has Business Aviation Stalled?" As I travel around Michigan and visit airports it is apparent to me that - indeed - corporate flying has slowed considerably and answers the question has business aviation stalled? For sure it has in Michigan, and as I travel around it is apparent in other places as well. A business aviation analyst Argus tells us that what improvements there are exist at the small aircraft end of the market.
Flight Hours Have Not Recovered
For the 2009 time frame flight hours fell off by more than 25% from 2008 levels, and continue to decline annually. The peak month for business aviation flight hours occurs in March, probably because of the "snow bird" effect. Large business aviation aircraft flight hours dropped 4.9% over the past year while mid-size business aviation aircraft flight hours fell 1.4%.
Fractional Operations Continue To Struggle
While fractional operators of business aviation aircraft saw a 4% gain in flight hours for 2010-2011, flight hours have dropped a precipitous 5.9% over the last year and all fractional business aviation aircraft continue to fly fewer hours each month.
Charter operators continue to struggle with flat to declining flight hours. For example charter turboprop flights declined 9.2% in the 2010-2011 time frame they have actually improved 1.6% over the last year.
In My Opinion
Without question business aviation has stalled - in fact it has more than stalled - it has plummeted and continues down that path. If you are a pilot and want to fly business aviation aircraft you may find it a difficult thing to accomplish. Perhaps the best course of action is to starve at a feeder airline until things improve in the business aviation marketplace. In the meantime keep your wings straight and level Hersch! Please share "Has Business Aviation Stalled?" with your friends using the buttons below. Thanks! Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7+ ps: Don't forget to sign up for updates via email for "All Things Aviation" here!