6 Sep 2018
Business Aircraft Flights Remain on Upswing in Europe

Last month was the busiest August in the past decade for business aircraft activity in Europe, according to data released today by WingX Advance. The 83,230 departures marked a 2.4 percent improvement when compared with August 2017. Business jets drove that growth, which rose 4 percent year-over-year and accounted for 65 percent of all activity in the region, WingX reported.

Flights jumped 6 percent in the UK and 4 percent in Italy last month, while those originating in Germany were up 9 percent. However, not all locations within Europe shared the same gains. France, the busiest market in Europe, experienced a 3 percent decline and Spain a 4 percent decline.

But year-to-date, all of the major markets, including France, have experienced an uptick in departures, with Germany leading the list. Among smaller markets, Greece has seen a 10 percent jump in flights through the first eight months.

The number of flights involving large-cabin business jets slid 12 percent in August in Spain and also shrunk in France. The UK marked the largest gain in that segment. Germany, meanwhile, saw an 11 percent increase in small and midsize business jet activity.

Domestic flights in Europe overall were up 2.5 percent in August and 3 percent year-to-date. Germany and the Netherlands experienced more than 10 percent gains in charter activity, and private flights improved in UK and Germany, while they were down 20 percent in Russia.

WingX reported a 22 percent year-over-year gain in the super-midsize category and departures involving Citation Latitudes reached 2,400, a 35 percent leap. Very light jet flights declined by 15 percent.

“The market driver currently is the growth in the charter market,” said Christoph Kohler, managing director of WINGX Advance, a business aviation consultant. Flights in this category accounted for nearly 60 percent of departures in Europe in the year to June.

Europe-wide, private plane departures were up 3.3 percent in the 12 months to June, and in Germany, 4.1 percent. Flights within Europe were up 3.5 percent in the year to June, while private flights to North America were down 7.8 percent.

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