2018 kicks-off with strong activity growth

26 Feb 2018

Business Aviation Monitor – August 2018

January got the year off to a strong start, justifying the industry’s general optimism for business aviation in 2018. Business jet demand, in particularly the charter customer, is driving activity – these sectors are up almost 10% year on year, with bright spots like Spain seeing 20% growth in charters. The combination of the high ski-season and the Davos summit also saw a big lift in traffic to Switzerland. As the marketing of private jet charters gets smarter, we expect spikes around leisure and VIP events to continue to characterise traffic patterns this year.

2018 began with strong YOY growth, with January´s 54,880 departures increasing YOY by 6.6%, compared to 3.9% for all of 2017 vs 2016. Some of the impetus this month came from strong growth in Piston traffic. Business jet sectors were up by 4.8% YOY, with AOC flights up 8%.

Almost all the top markets saw YOY growth this month. France had the largest number of flights, these up by 6% YOY. Growth in flights from Italy, Spain and Germany exceeded 10% YOY. Flights out of Russia were down by 4% YOY. UK had relatively modest 2% growth.

Spain has the strongest longer-term trends, with last 12-month growth at almost 10%, and this month´s Large Jet activity out of Spain climbing 15% YOY. 75% of flights from Spain in January 2018 were AOC and these were up almost 20% YOY.

Switzerland had a busy month, boosted by the World Economic Forum, with Zurich seeing 1,200 departures during the month, Large Jet flights up by 22% YOY. In Germany, much of the activity growth came from Prop flights, up 21% YOY.

Intra-European connections generated most of the activity and growth this month. Flights from Europe to other regions saw large declines to Middle East, also some drop-off in flights to North America. Relatively large increase in flights to South America.

Inbound activity to Europe was variable, with arrivals from CIS region down 6% YOY, and arrivals from the Gulf falling almost 20%. Flights into Europe from East Africa also down, although well up from the rest of Africa. Arrivals from the US were also up.

AOC activity, particularly business jet AOC flights, up 8% YOY, was the main growth driver this month. Switzerland, France and Germany all had 10% gains in AOC flights. There were more than 200 AOC flights on Europe’s busiest connection, LFPB-LSGG.

Almost all business jet segments had growth in activity this month. Strongest growth came in the SMJ segment, sectors up 14% YOY. ULR activity was up 10%, and grew 20% for missions between 1.5H and 3H. Light Jet flights were up by 11% YOY.

Strong growth this month at top airport, LFPB, with 1,966 business aviation departures up by 7% YOY. London was the busiest city for outbound flights, up 3%, with exceptionally strong growth from EGLF, flights up 17%, and EGKB, flights up by 25% YOY.

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