February business jet and charter flights dip in Europe on economic, political worries

Inbound flights to Europe from North America and Africa were a bright spot with a 15% increase.

By Doug Gollan, March 8, 2019

Inbound flights to Europe from North America and Africa were a bright spot with a 15% increase

While there 58,090 business aviation departures in Europe in February, up 1.7% compared to last year, the figures were boosted by a big increase in piston traffic, mainly training. Business jet activity on the other hand dropped by 1.3% with a 1.6% fall in Charter/AOC flights.

According to a press release received by Private Jet Card Comparisons, the top country markets saw some growth overall, with Germany and Spain registering the largest year-over-year increases in activity. Flights from the UK were flat YOY, with a big drop in small and midsize jets.

Russia, Turkey see dive in private jet flights

Richard Koe, Managing Director of WINGX, said, “The overall trend in business aviation activity, up 2% year over year, camouflages a significant underlying decline in business jet activity, across all the top markets except Germany, with notably large falls in heavy jet activity out of Spain and small and midsize cabin activity from the UK. Also the markets in Russia and Turkey are significantly depressed. These declines are most obvious in charter activity, and on longer sectors. This year´s falling trend in business jet charters reflects softer demand in the context of weaker economic growth and heighted political risk across Europe.”

WingX points to “a major slump in business jet activity out of Russia and Turkey, respectively 15% and 20% down YOY.” Business jet departures out of Vnukovo are down 16% so far in 2019 vs. 2018. Flights also dipped in January.

Spain sees 10% growth

 This year the UK, Italy and Germany have around 1% growth in total activity, France up by 2%, Spain almost 10%. Flight activity out of Turkey and Greece is down 20% compared to last year. Europe´s YTD trend of 0.5% is slowing on L12M trend of 1.7%.

Large Jet activity was down last month, falling 2.3% YOY. The ULR segment was up by 4.7%, but this offset by a 5.3% YOY decline in flights by heavy jets. Super-midsize activity was up 2.7% YOY, whereas bizliner flights fell 17% YOY.

North America, Africa flights increase

Business aviation flights within Europe were up by 2% in February, and arrivals into Europe from North America and Africa increased more than 15%, although these trends were offset by almost 20% decline in Asia-Pacific arrivals and 9% fall in flights from CIS region.

Fifty-eight percent of all business aviation flights were Charter/AOC, this activity down by 1% in Feb YOY, in contrast to private flights, which increased almost 5%. Spain, Austria, Netherlands and Poland saw biggest YOY growth in Charter/AOC.

Largest declines in Charter/AOC this month came in Turkey, Russia, Belgium. Private flights had strong growth out of Germany and Switzerland, falling substantially in Spain. Overall, flights from the UK to Spain, Italy, and Switzerland were well down this month.

Global Express, Falcon 7X flight up

Charter/AOC activity this month was driven mainly by props, notably the Diamond Twin Star, Cessna 172, Socata TB-20. Among business jet platforms, Global Express and Falcon 7X activity was well up. Private flights were down for PC-12 and Gulfstream GV/G500.

Europe’s busiest airports saw a sharp reduction in YOY activity in February, especially at Geneva, Luton, Nice, Milan. On the other hand, Berlin Schoenefeld and Munich both saw growth of more than 10%. Private flights out of Biggin Hill and Zurich were up more than 10%.

Related Articles

Visit DG Amazing Experiences

Find the perfect solution for your private aviation needs

Make the right decision

If you want a program-by-program comparison of more than 500 products from more than 50 companies covering 65 points of differentiation and over 40,000 data points.