Global business-aircraft flight hours increased 1.2 percent last year, with on-demand charter helping drive the gains, according to the latest Jet Support Services Inc. (JSSI) Business Aviation Index. JSSI, which tracks business aircraft flight hours by region, industry and cabin type, found flight hours grew at a slower pace by industry than the last few years, but real estate flying still improved 4.1 percent and the aviation-industry sector was up 4.4 percent. Other sectors, however, were down, including manufacturing (-13.7 percent) and construction (-6.9 percent).
“While the pace of the U.S. economic recovery gained steam, an economic slowdown throughout the world certainly had an impact on flight hours,” said JSSI president and CEO Neil Book. “There were still some bright spots worth noting, where we saw solid growth in the real estate industry and business jet charter.”
Regionally, Europe and the Middle East led the growth in business aviation flight hours in 2014, each climbing 9.1 percent, while South America followed at 5 percent and North America edged up 0.1 percent. These gains offset declines in Asia-Pacific, Central America and Africa.
Large-cabin-jet flight hours increased 4.6 percent year-over-year, but midsize and light-jet activity was slightly down.