The “persistent and recently escalating” Ukraine crisis continued to hamper business aviation flight activity in Europe last month, according to data released today by WingX Advance, a business aviation research and consulting firm based in Hamburg, Germany. There were 61,831 business aircraft departures in Europe last month, down 3 percent (1,974 flights) from a year ago–the largest drop so far in 2014, the company said. Year-to-date, the market is 1 percent below last year’s trend and is 21 percent off the pre-2009 peak in European flight activity.
While flights within the EU were stable and several states saw positive year-over-year activity in August–with flying up in Italy, Spain, Austria, the UK and (by 98 percent) Malta–the market has been offset by “geopolitical crisis.” This includes a 56-percent decline year-over-year in business flights in Ukraine, -18 percent in Russia and -9 percent in Germany.
By aircraft type, business jet activity in the region dropped by 3 percent from a year ago, offsetting “small gains” in turboprop activity and a jump of more than 25 percent in piston activity. Meanwhile, European outbound flights to the CIS fell 25 percent last month and inbound activity from the CIS to Europe dipped 16 percent. Other regions have seen more connections to Europe–notably, flights from the U.S. to Europe are up 8 percent year-to-date.