Exceptionally strong growth in March rounds off positive Q1

5 Apr 2017

Business Aviation Monitor – March 2017

This month`s notably strong YOY growth was flattered by this year`s later Easter. Even so, growth in March rounded off the most positive Q1 for some years. Activity in Germany is on the rebound after a weak 2016, whilst France and UK sustained strong activity trends despite macroeconomic turbulence. The Charter market is generating most activity growth, especially in Light Jet segments. Despite some growth in Owner activity this month, the trend appears to show business jet travellers increasingly preferring the spot charter market.


67,231 business aviation departures in Europe in March 2017, a conspicuous growth month, up 8% YOY. Partly this is explained by Easter dates, falling in Mar-16 and Apr-17. Following Q1, business aviation activity in 2017 is +5% vs comparable 2016.

All fleet categories – business jets, props, pistons – increased YOY activity this month. Props and Pistons had relatively the strongest growth, but Business Jets generated almost 60% of activity, with flights up by 6% YOY.

Central Europe – Germany, Austria, Switzerland – saw strongest regional growth. Flights from Germany were up 18% YOY, strongest on domestic sectors and in connections with UK and France. Average monthly growth in Germany YTD is 855 flights.

France remains the busiest market, with 22% of total European activity, this month`s 4% growth adding 560 YOY flights. Activity out of the UK continues to growth, with direct connections to EU destinations up by 7% YOY this month.

Whereas flights within Europe were well up this month, almost 10% YOY, flights to Middle East and CIS region declined. Flights from Europe to North America and Africa had double-digit growth. Arrivals into Europe from West Africa declined 11%.

The largest share of flights this month were Private mission, these increasing 6.5% YOY, following several months of decline. AOC activity was up 10% YOY, maintaining a positive last 12 months and strong growth in Q1 2017.

AOC activity was up YOY in 9 of the busiest 10 countries this month, with >10% growth in all top 5 countries, including Italy, despite its 10% fall in Private flights. Germany, Scandinavia and Turkey saw very strong increase in Private flight activity.

Bizliner and Midsize Jet activity declined substantially this month, but all other segments were up, with strongest YOY growth for Ultra-Long, Light and Very-Light Jets. These segments have increased activity in all but 2 of the last 12 months.

Business aviation activity was well up this month across almost all busiest airports, with Vnukovo and Linate exceptions. Le Bourget and Geneva posted strong growth. Exceptionally strong growth at Schoenefeld. Activity at Cannes declined by 21% YOY.

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