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Analyst sees increase in business jet activity in April

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, May 28, 2014, at 11:12 a.m.

Business jet flight activity rose in April, compared to April of 2013, with increases across all three cabin classes of jets, according to a new analyst report.

Flight activity is a key indicator of business jet market conditions.

A sustained recovery in the utilization of business jets is needed to drive improvement in new aircraft sales, David Strauss, an analyst with UBS Securities said in a report to investors.

The number of takeoffs and landings, or cycles, rose 4 percent in April over the same time a year ago, Strauss reports.

Charter activity, which makes up 30 percent of the activity, remains the growth driver, he said.

Charter flights were up 13 percent year over year in April, while non-charter activity was roughly unchanged.

In all, activity is 30 percent higher today than the trough levels of 2009, the report said.

Compared to the previous year, takeoffs and landings increased across all three cabin classes, with long-range business aircraft cycles up 7 percent, while mid-and short-range aircraft cycles rose 3 to 4 percent.

Utilization of long-range business jets are near prior peak levels, Strauss estimates, while short- and mid-range cycles remain 15 percent to 20 percent below peak levels.

Business jet activity in Europe, however, has lagged the U.S. and has drifted steadily lower over the past few years. European business jet cycles in Europe were down 2 percent from a year ago, the report said.

Reach Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or mmcmillin@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @mmcmillin.

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