Bizav Flying in Europe Off To a ‘Strong Start’

Business aircraft flight activity in Europe got off to a “strong start” for 2017, with 50,335 departures reported last month, up 4.4 percent year-over-year, according to data released by WingX Advance. While the 12-month trend is slightly positive, flying is still trailing the pre-crisis 2008 benchmark by more than 15 percent, it said.

Business jet activity experienced 2 percent growth in private flights and an 11 percent increase in the charter segment. Meanwhile, turboprop and piston activity was flat year-over-year.

Flying climbed in Western and Southern Europe this month, with France rising by 6 percent; the UK, Germany, and Switzerland each up 3 percent; and Spain and Austria each ascending by more than 10 percent from a year ago. Notably, charter flight activity increased by 13 percent in both Switzerland and Spain and 20 percent in Austria and France, WingX said.

Intra-European activity was up 5 percent last month, but arrivals into Europe from Russia declined 7 percent. Inbound flights from North America fell 1 percent, but flights from Europe to North America were up 6 percent year-over-year.

Of the busiest airports, Paris Le Bourget and Vienna saw business aircraft departures surge by 10 percent last month, and Munich, Aix-les-Bains, and Vaclav Havel airports each reported increases of more than 20 percent, according to WingX.

WingX managing director Richard Koe characterized activity as “a strong start to the year, especially in the charter market. The market is still fragile, with activity well below the pre-crisis peak in 2008, but the last 12-month trends indicate a solid recovery is under way.”

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