WINGX Business Aviation Monitor – December 2016: Small overall decline belies solid growth for business jets

January 10, 2017 4:24 pm

Overall a disappointing finish to 2016, the full year showing no aggregate improvement on a stagnant 2015. But discounting the recent decline in Prop activity, especially in Germany, the market has recovered, especially in business jet AOC activity. This was most evident in December´s growth in Small Jet Charters, especially from Switzerland, Italy and Spain.

 

There were 52,419 business aviation departures in Europe in December 2016, 0.6% decline in YOY activity. The annual total of 798K business aviation flights in 2016 was down by 0.3% compared to 2015.

 

The decline in December was down to weaker Turboprop and Piston activity; Business jet flights were up, especially in AOC activity. Last 12 month trends for business jet flights are now positive, offset by negative trends in Prop aircraft activity.

 

December activity was held back by much weaker demand in Germany, departures down 9%, equivalent to 760 fewer YOY flights. Decline in Germany was particularly acute in Piston activity, with business jet flights falling 3% YOY.

 

Top market France also saw a slight decline in activity in December, although business jet departures from France were up 6%, and AOC activity in France grew 8% overall. UK flight activity grew 1%, Italy & Spain by 2%, Switzerland by 6% YOY.

 

Intra-European activity was down 1% overall in December, with a weaker Western Europe bolstered by stronger Southern Europe. Arrivals into Europe were well up from Middle East & Africa but down from North America and Russia this month.

 

Private flights fell by 4%, ending a mostly negative year, in contrast to AOC flights, consistently expanding in 2016. AOC flights grew between 10% and 15% from Italy, Switzerland and Spain this month.

 

AOC flights saw largest growth on Bombardier jets, activity up 9% in December. Embraer flight activity was well up whilst Cessna was up but only in AOC. Dassault and Hawker flights were notably diminished this month.

 

Ultra-long range and Super midsize jet activity was up in every month of 2016, with SLJ, LJ & VLJ activity also mostly positive, with around 10% YOY growth in December. Midsize jet activity continued to erode, but Heavy Jet activity bounced back.

 

YOY business aviation activity spiked at Geneva and Nice in December, bouncing back from a very weak comparable December 2015. Vnukovo was also up >10% and flights from Stansted grew >30% YOY. Nice had most growth in activity for the full year.