Energy Sector Leading Bizjet Recovery

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Global business aviation activity grew by 4 percent in 2013 according to Jet Support Services Inc.'s (JSSI) annual report. While the solid increase was in itself encouraging, the company noted the uptick outpaced the 2.9 percent the International Monetary Fund's predicted the global economy would grow last year. "The global growth in flight hours is a positive indicator for the health of both the aviation industry and the economy as a whole," said Neil Book, president and CEO of JSSI. "When viewed by region, the data is generally consistent with macroeconomic trends across the globe. Business aviation continues its strong rebound in the U.S., with 6 percent year-over-year growth and 7 percent quarter-over-quarter growth," Book said. JSSI doesn't just count takeoffs and landings, however.

The company polls aircraft owners in various economic groupings to determine which sectors of the economy are using them the most. By far the biggest overall increase in aircraft usage was by the power and energy sector at 29 percent year-over-year, but if the last quarter results from the real estate industry are any indication, the buyer's market in much of the U.S. may be waning. Although real estate air traffic was up a relatively modest 6 percent over the year, it increased 62 percent in the final quarter of 2013. That flew in the face of a 13 percent decline by the construction industry. Financial services (-9) and healthcare (-9) were also down but manufacturing was up 10 percent.