Business aviation flying in Europe eked out a 0.4-percent year-over-year increase last month, logging the fourth consecutive month of activity growth in the continent, according to Hamburg, Germany-based business aviation data firm WingX Advance. There were 43,524 business aircraft flights last month, 0.6 percent more than in February 2013.
While this is good news overall, the gains were largely from the lower end of the aircraft spectrum, WingX said. Activity by privately operated business pistons and turboprops climbed in February, while charter flights fell 2.3 percent and business jet flights dipped by 0.8 percent versus the same period last year.
By region, business aircraft flight activity spiked in the Ukraine in response to the crisis there, as well as in Russia thanks to the Olympics in Sochi. “Significant flight growth in Germany might indicate a market turnaround, although it came mostly in piston aircraft,” WingX noted. France, Benelux and Sweden also registered year-over-year growth, but besides Russia and Ukraine only the Netherlands and Portugal posted significant increases in charter flights.
According to WingX’s data, there were double-digit gains in flights to Europe from the CIS and North America. Flights to Europe from South America, China and North Africa were up last month, while flights from West Africa and India fell from year-ago levels.