As the aviation industry at large experienced a summer surge in 2014, Elite Air capitalized to post its best three-month charter sales period since before the 2008 recession. The success was largely driven by the record month the Elite Air charter sales team achieved in June.
“There is typically a lull in the months after March, so it was interesting to see charter remain strong this year,” Elite Air CEO Gray Gibbs said. “It’s continued to be stronger than it has in years, which is good for general aviation.”
Local industry analysts also reported strong sales in June, though it’s unclear the trend held nationwide for that month. Industry analyst ARGUS saw a dip in overall flight activity from May to June, a trend its analsysts called typical. All operational categories posted decreases from the previous month, with the fractional segment posting the largest decline, down 5.1% from May. Part 135 flights were down 3.1%, and mid-size and large jets saw a decrease in flights by more than 4.7%.
Still, industry wide June 2014 was 3% stronger than the same month in 2013, making it the seventh straight month that beat the prior year’s numbers. Growth continued over July and August to contribute to better-than-average summer flight activity. July flight activity posted an increase from June to finish the period up 1.4% overall, and all operational categories posted increases from the previous month, with the fractional segment up 3.5% from June. July 2014 posted an increase of 1.5% over July 2013, and the results by operational category showed increases in the Part 91 and fractional markets, up 2.7% and 2.0%. The Part 135 market recorded a slight decrease of 0.4%.
August business aviation flight activity was up both month-over-month and year-over-year, as well, with Part 135 showing a sharp rebound. As demand for flights continues to grow, Elite Air Sales Director AJ Becker said the company would be pursuing increased charter sales supply.
“It’s literally become a situation where we have to say to people we can’t do their trips because all of our airplanes are flying,” Becker said. “It’s a good problem to have.”