For the FBO industry, business last year looked a lot like it did in 2011 as hopes for a significant resurgence in business aviation were pushed back again. According to the FAA, the number of U.S. business jet flight operations last year continued its slow but steady climb since the start of the recession in 2008, but the count was still nearly 850,000 shy of the peak of 4,824,960 set in 2007.
While last year saw an increase of more than half a percentage point (equating to more than 25,000 operations), the meager gain was achieved in spite of a slight decline in domestic operations, following two years of increases. That was more than offset by international private jet flights, which grew by approximately 5.5 percent year-over-year. Over the past few months, however, those numbers received a boost. From November through January, domestic operations increased more than one percent over the same span 12 months earlier, while international flights rose by 6.5 percent.