Bizjets flock to World Economic Forum

 - February 23, 2011, 7:30 AM

by Charles Alcock

The annual World Economic Forum (WEF), held during the last week of January, in the Swiss resort of Davos once again brought a bumper crop of business aircraft traffic to local FBOs. Both the main handling companies at nearby Zurich Airport reported an increase in movements compared with the 2010 event.

Jet Aviation experienced a 10-percent increase in movements, to 726, and saw 20 percent more passengers, at 1,844. The 2010 WEF was held against a backdrop of continued pessimism over the pace of recovery from the global financial crisis, but this yearπs gathering was generally considered to be more upbeat.

Analyzing the traffic figures, Jet Aviation also noted a 42-percent increase in the number of ≥narrowbody≤ business jets handled for this yearπs WEF. The business aviation services group claimed to have handled 363 of an estimated 500 ≥large≤ business aircraft arriving in Zurich for the event.

Also significant was a 9.5-percent increase in fuel sales at the Jet Aviation FBO, rising to 1,094,839 liters (289,227 U.S. gallons) for the 2011 WEF. This included a new single-day record sales tally of 370,851 liters (97,968 U.S. gallons) on January 29.

ExecuJet Busy, Too

On the other side of the main runway at Zurich, ExecuJet Aviation also enjoyed a busy WEF week. It too saw total traffic for the event increase markedly, to 330 movements, and these included a high proportion of Gulfstream and Bombardier Global Express large-cabin aircraft.

ExecuJetπs fuel sales climbed by 5.7 percent, reaching a total of 465,514 liters (122,976 U.S. gallons) of jet-A. Its busy day also fell on January 29, the day before the WEF 2011 closed, with almost 160,000 liters (42,268 U.S. gallons).

As in previous years, ExecuJet made an exclusive arrangement with D¸bendorf airfield, five miles north of Zurich Airport, to allow aircraft to be parked there for the duration of the WEF. Some 20 aircraft opted to reposition to the far less congested D¸bendorf, but all passenger arrivals and departures were handled at Zurich.

≥The newly refurbished pilot and passenger lounges at our Zurich FBO were greatly appreciated by delegates and crews and we increased the number of dedicated ExecuJet representatives on the ground at both Zurich and D¸bendorf to look after passengers and flight crews, de-ice aircraft and handle all ground transportation requests,≤ said Nicole Gut, ExecuJetπs director of European FBOs. ≥We were also able to park an increased number of aircraft at Zurich this year thanks to the addition of our new hangar.≤

The annual 2011 WEF drew more than 2,500 delegates, including world leaders, business executives and the usual assortment of celebrities from some 75 countries. o