Summer demand tapers but YOY growth still strong

7 Nov 2017

Business Aviation Monitor – October 2017

October activity came down off the summer peaks, as usual, but the strong YOY growth, the largest so far this year, points to the sustained growth in charter demand. This is evident across almost all business jet segments, most notably in heavy jets. The market appears to be responding to a better outlook for the economy, and within the industry, competitive pricing, aggressive marketing and more effective underlying operating models.

October´s business aviation activity came down from the summer´s peak, but was still up 8% YOY, with Business Jet Charter flights up by 13% YOY. The YTD trend climbed to 4%, an additional 28,000 flights this year compared to 2016.

Largest markets contributed most growth, with Western Europe showing robust increase in flight activity, especially in France, Spain and Italy. There was an increase of over 1,000 flights YOY from France this month.

There were small YOY declines in activity from Russia, Norway, Turkey, but strong gains from other smaller markets such as Sweden, Austria, Greece. YTD, Germany has seen the most growth, flights up by 3.9%, an additional 415 flights per month.

Business aviation flights from Southern Europe were up by 10% this month, and have a 12-month growth trend of 7%. Arrivals into Europe from Russia were down 2%. Slight growth in flights to Middle East, and a 9% bounce in flights from Europe to North America.

There was some recovery this month in Private flights, up 5% YOY, in contrast to stagnation over much of the last 12 months. But all this growth came from 10% gain in Prop activity. Business jet Private missions slipped back 0.4% YOY.

Cessna aircraft were 6% busier this month, with 7% increase in VLJ flights and over 100% growth in Cessna´s Midsize activity. In the ULR segment, Gulfstream activity was up by 13%. Embraer Heavy Jet flights were up >30%, Hawker Light Jets by 19%.

Bizliner and Entry Level Jet activity was down this month. All other segments were up, especially Piston AOC activity. Light, Very-Light and Heavy Jet flights were up >12% YOY. VLJ Private flights were up by 20% YOY.

PC-12 activity comprised almost 10% of all Private flights, and was up by 34% YOY. King Air 200, Excel/XLS and Mustang Charter activity was slightly up. Legacy 600 and Phenom 300 had most growth in Charter. Falcon 2000 Private flights were up 10%.

Almost all the busy airports saw an increase in YOY activity this month, although Private flights from Geneva and Luton were down. Nice added most YOY activity, a 13% gain. 16% growth at Farnborough and Biggin Hill, more than 25% growth at Barajas airport.

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