Though business aviation flying in Europe experienced a seasonal pick-up last month, there were 2.2-percent fewer departures from a year ago and year-to-date the market is 0.6 percent below 2013 levels, according to data released yesterday by business aviation research and consulting firm WingX Advance.
Activity in France, which WingX said is the largest country market in Europe, fell 2.9 percent year-over-year, while other “significant” markets such as Italy, Spain and Switzerland slipped and “former growth stars” Russia, Ukraine and Turkey retreated by up to 30 percent. There were some bright spots, however, with year-over-year flight activity growth in Germany, the UK, Portugal, Greece, Belgium and the Czech Republic. WingX also noted “strong growth” in arrivals to Europe from North America and the Middle East.
The turboprop and piston fleets both lost ground, though not as much as business jet activity, which was down 2.3 percent overall “but acutely negative in Ukraine” at -34 percent. Business jet flights were up 70 percent last month in Portugal, thanks mainly to the Champions League.
Intra-European flights dipped, but domestic activity was up in Germany, the UK and Switzerland. Flights to non-European destinations rose 9 percent last month, with connections to North Africa, South America and India “well up” from a year ago.