Late summer boosts activity, especially business jet charter

5 Oct 2016

Business Aviation Monitor – September 2016

This month completed a positive 3rd Quarter, adding to the growth in Q2, and offsetting the bad start to the year, so that overall trend is now line with 2015. September was actually unusually strong, especially for business jet charters. The UK and Spain got a big share of the growth, the tourist season extended by the long late summer. VLJ charters played a big role in supporting this demand. Aggregate activity was also boosted by new deliveries into Super Midsize fleets.


There were 76,983 business aviation departures in Europe in September 2016, 1.4% YOY growth in activity. The growth came in business jet activity, flights up 4% YOY, offsetting declines in turboprop and piston activity.

UK had most growth this month, flights up 5%. The increase was most evident in London, with Large Jet departures up 7%, Light Jet flights up by 12%. On average there were 150 business aviation flights a day leaving the UK during September.

Busiest country in September was France, generating 19% of all European departures. YOY trend in France was flat, YTD trend up 3%, an additional 350 flights per month in 2016. Spain saw a 12% increase in departures this month, mainly in Owner flights.

The major markets with decline this month were Germany and Switzerland. Flights within Germany were down 8%, and Charter departures from Germany fell 11%. Business jet flights in Germany were flat; all the decline was in prop activity.

Overall, flight activity within Western Europe flat this month, the growth coming in South and East Europe, although both Turkey and Russia markets continued to decline. Transatlantic flights were well up this month, arrivals up by 8% YOY.

Owner flights were flat this month and have been declining most of the last 12 months. In contrast AOC flights were up, growing as they have been in all but 2 months this year. Business jet AOC flights were up exceptionally, +7% YOY.

The growth in AOC flights was evident in recovering HJ and LJ activity, both up 8%. SMJ activity was up >20%, mainly reflecting replenished fractional fleets. VLJ activity was up 15% overall, and 18% YOY in terms of Charter sectors flown.

In the VLJ segment, Mustang flights were up 10% YOY, Phenom 100 activity by 26%. Overall, Cessna aircraft flew 2% more YOY, Embraer aircraft up 24%, Bombardier up 14%, but Beechcraft and Hawker aircraft down 7% and 11% respectively.

4 of the busiest 5 airports were flat this month, Le Bourget the exception with 5% YOY growth in departures. Other airports with substantial growth this month included Biggin Hill, up 10%, Farnborough up 13%, Ibiza up by 17%.

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