According to data released today by business aviation research and consulting firm WingX Advance, there were 52,931 business aviation flights in Europe in March, a 22-percent month-over-month increase and a 2.1-percent year-over-year rise. After three consecutive monthly increases, business aviation flight activity in Europe was up by 1.6 percent from the same period last year.
Though the big-picture numbers appear to be good, business jet activity in Europe fell 1.1 percent from last March and charter flying dipped by 3.9 percent. “The overall market was clearly buoyed by private flight activity,” which was up 8 percent year-over-year, Hamburg, Germany-based WingX said.
By region, Western European countries such as France, Switzerland, Germany and the UK were the main drivers of flight activity growth. Italy also contributed, with business flying up 9 percent year-over-year. Not surprisingly, activity in Russia and Ukraine crumbled as the situation in Crimea remains tense.
Flights to Europe continued to increase from North America, North Africa, India and China, the latter of which is up 30 percent this year. Meanwhile, flights from the Middle East have slowed and previously positive incoming flight trends from CIS countries have reversed.
Looking at aircraft categories, demand for ultra-long-range jets surged 20 percent from last year, and super-light jet activity also climbed, WingX noted.