Business Aviation Monitor – May 2017
Following last month´s blip, May-17 resumed the growth trend in business aviation activity in Europe this year, mainly in the largest markets France, Germany and UK. Activity growth from the UK is notable, with London´s departures in light jets exceeding 10% YOY. Trends at Farnborough, Biggin Hill and Stansted partly reflect impending works at Northolt, but also London´s overall increase in business aviation activity, visible during this month´s calendar events such as the Monaco Grand Prix and Cannes Film Festival.
77,068 business aviation departures in Europe in May 2017, the busiest month so far in 2017, up 17% on April´s activity, and growing 3.3% YOY. The YTD increase in activity is 9,592 flights, up 3.2% on 2016.
Daily frequency during May was 2,486 departures, with largest gains coming in the 2nd half of the month, coinciding with Monaco GP and Cannes film festival. This was notable for flight connections with the UK, up >10% during the GP weekend.
Growth was strongest in Business Jet flights this month, up by 4%, with 6% increase in AOC flights. Prop and Piston flights also increased YOY, although only in Private activity. Overall, AOC flights gained 4%, Private flights 3%.
Strong growth in East and Central Europe, mainly from Germany, Switzerland, Austria. UK and Spain also made solid gains. Business aviation flights from France declined by 1% YOY, although France retains strongest YTD gain in activity.
Flights arriving into Europe increased from all regions except North Africa. Arrivals from Russia were up 3%, compared to 6% decline in the last 12 months. Departures from Europe to North America were up 8%, and flights to Asia-Pac increased 18% YOY.
Almost a third of all flights were operated on Cessna aircraft, this activity up 4% YOY. Trends in Cessna SMJ, MSJ & TP aircraft were >15% YOY. Overall, ULR jet activity grew 5%, varying from 13% growth on Bombardier, jets, 2% decline for Gulfstream jets.
Heavy Jet flights are up in each of the last 3 months, with this month showing 4% gain on Dassault aircraft, +8% on Embraer heavy jets, but 8% decline for Gulfstream. Biggest gain in Charter activity came on VLJs, +14%. Phenom 300 AOC sectors up >50%.
Private flights increased 3% YOY, with Owner activity strongest on Bombardier and Pilatus aircraft, up 7% and 16% respectively. Private activity on Gulfstream GV/G500 aircraft declined 5% YOY. MSJ saw 15% decline in AOC sectors, 7% gain in Private sectors.
Modest growth at top airports Le Bourget and Geneva, with strongest YOY gains at Luton, +6%, and Farnborough + 15%. Biggin Hill and Stuttgart saw YOY increases of 18%. Nice has 8% YTD growth, equivalent of an additional 85 flights each month.