Business Aviation Monitor – August 2018
August showed a continuation of the now-familiar pattern for European business aviation activity: growing demand for Charter flights but flat trend in Private activity; surge in Super Midsize jet activity, reflecting the increasing entry of Citation Latitude jets; strong growth in Light Jet activity, particularly Phenom 300; strong growth at business aviation specialist airports, like Farnborough and Biggin Hill. There are also some signs of weaker activity, notably a big slowdown in Very Light Jets, and less activity at larger airports like Luton, Ciampino and Munich.
83,230 business aviation departures in Europe this month, 8% down on July’s peak, but the busiest August in the last decade, and up by 2.4% compared to Aug-17. The growth came mainly from Business Jets, 65% of all activity and up by 4% YOY.
Busiest market France was down by 3% YOY, also a sizeable 4% decline in Spain, with offsetting growth coming from Italy, up 4%, UK up 6% and flights from Germany up by 9%. YTD-18, all top 6 markets are up compared to 2017, France by least, Germany by most.
Among the smaller markets, there was double digit YOY growth in Netherlands, Portugal, Finland, and a 75% increase in business aviation flights from Montenegro. YTD, Greece has the strongest rebound this year, flights up by 10% vs the first 8 months of last year.
Business aviation demand in France continued to decline for Large Jets, and Spain saw a 12% retreat in YOY flights in this Segment. The UK added the largest number of additional Large Jet flights this month. In Small and Midsize activity, Germany was up by 11%.
Domestic European flights were up 2.5% this month, in line with YTD trend of 3%, but with considerable regional variance, intra-France flights down by 6%, but flights from France to UK, Italy and Germany up respectively by 6%, 9% and 12%.
Germany and Netherlands both had >10% growth in Charter/AOC activity this month, and only Spain, France and Sweden saw declines in commercial flights in Aug-18. Private flights were up by most in UK and Germany, falling almost 20% in Russia.
Two business jet segments stood out this month, with Super Midsize activity up by 22% YOY, and Very Light Jet sectors falling by 15%. There were 2,400 Citation Latitude departures, up by 35%, in contrast, 6% fewer Phenom 100 and 20% fewer Mustang sectors.
Weakest long-term trends are in Midsize business jets, flights down by 8% in L12M. Last 12-month trends for the Light Jet segment are up 9%. Short Light Jet sectors were up 11% this month. Band D (11-15t) aircraft Charters were up 15% this month.
Nice was the busiest airport this month, although activity fell 4.6% YOY. Activity at Luton, Ibiza and Athens was down by close to 10%. Strong monthly growth continues at Farnborough, Biggin Hill, also Munich, Bodrum and Ataturk airports up this month.