In a year that saw worldwide private jet charter demand make modest but fluctuating gains, U.S. based company New Flight Charters reported the most popular aircraft chosen for charter flights in 2011 along with its strong increase in charter flight business.
Data is from the company’s 2011 North America charter activity, including 1,105 separate flights with 587 charters, which showed notable increases of 27.2% and 16.9% respectively over prior year results.
Most Popular Jets
Light Jets were by far the most popular size chartered, and were almost half (44.6%) of all charters in 2011. In listing the top five most popular light jets, tied for first were the Citation V/Ultra (19.1% of light jets) and the Beechjet 400/Hawker 400XP (19.1%), followed by the Learjet 35 (14.5%), Citation II (11.1%) and Westwind I/II (9.2%).
Midsize Jets accounted for 21.1% of charters during 2011. The top five most popular midsize jets were the Hawker 800A at 20.2% followed by the Hawker 800XP (18.5%), Learjet 60 (16.1%), Learjet 55 (15.3%) and the Citation Excel (5.5%). As a make overall, Hawker models combined were chosen for almost half (46.8%) of midsize jet charters.
Turboprops were the next most popular category, at 20.1% of all charters. The Beechcraft King Air, by far the most popular type chosen, accounted for 72.0% of turboprop charters. The Pilatus PC-12 was second at 12.7%.
Rounding out the remaining aircraft chosen for charters in 2011 were luxury Large Cabin Jets at a comparably small 5.8%, Piston aircraft at 5.3%, and Super-Midsize jets at 3.1%.
Recent Market Trends
The popularity of certain aircraft models chosen confirms a trend to more relatively economical aircraft in 2011, a result of the condition of the US economy. Proven legacy models, such as the Learjet 35 and Citation II light jets, and the Learjet 55 midsize jet, showed high charter demand and availability.
Many who fly privately may not have the same means to fly they did several years ago, but still desire the ease and freedom of private charter, and cost is a greater factor today in making those arrangements. The strength of the light and midsize jet segments, when compared to luxury large cabin jets, serve to further confirm this market trend.
More details, analysis and an in-depth article are posted at www.newflightcharters.com.
Photo Copyright: New Flight Charters
By Rick Colson