Wary business jet owners bring August slowdown

8 Sep 2016

Business Aviation Monitor – August 2016

The relapse in activity this month is linked mainly to private jet owners flying less, particularly the Russia and Turkey market, but also large jet owners in general. There is no doubt some wariness of the elevated terrorist threat, reflected in markedly less activity at major airports, with Nice obviously affected. There is still some growth at the top end of the market, and in Super Midsize segments, where aircraft order books are strongest. VLJ and certain turboprops are also continuing to increase activity, especially in Western Europe.


There were 74,689 business aviation departures in Europe in August 2016, 0.9% YOY decline in activity. The decline came from fewer business jet flights, down by 2%, mainly induced by a fall in Private flights.

The main growth impetus this month came from UK and France, particularly domestic France, and also slight growth in Spain and Italy. Some smaller markets also had solid YOY growth this month: Norway +4%; Belgium +7%; Ireland up 13%.

The overall trend was weakened by softer activity in Germany and Switzerland, continuing decline in Russia, and a dramatic decline in Turkey, flights down by 27%, 750 fewer departures than in August 2015.

Whilst jet activity took the brunt of falling demand this month, turboprop activity saw some recovery, with double digit growth in Spain, Greece and Croatia. For example, mainly prop-operated flights from Athens to Mykonos were up more than 50%.

Flight activity within Western Europe retained its slight YTD growth trend. Flights from Eastern Europe were 4% stronger this month, but as with Southern Europe, have declined this year. Main outbound destination from Europe was the CIS, down 6% YOY.

Declines in Europe came largely from Private flights, 48% of all activity and down by 1.4% this month. Private flights fell slightly in France, down by 3% in Italy, down 6% in Switzerland, although Private flights increased 9% YOY in the UK.

Private flight activity collapsed 29% on Hawker jets, and was down 9% on Dassault aircraft, 4% on Cessna aircraft, although trends were well up on Learjet and Embraer. AOC activity, which fell 0.5% overall in Europe, was up 6% in Bombardier activity.

Ultra-long range, Super midsize jets and Very Light jets all made gains, although Falcon 7X activity was down and Mustang activity was flat this month. Light jet and turboprop activity was flat but CJ2 flights increased more than 30%, Piaggio Avanti activity by 25%.

Farnborough, Ciampino and Cannes were the only 3 of busiest 10 airports not to decline, with Nice activity down 8% this month although it was Europe´s busiest airport. Smaller airports such as Stuttgart and Barcelona had strong growth in August.

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