Business aircraft traffic in Europe last month climbed by 2.4 percent year-over-year, logging 42,623 departures, according to the latest data from Hamburg, Germany-based WingX Advance. “This was a welcome change to declines through most of the year, with 2013 activity down 2 percent overall from 2012,” it said.
Despite the increase from a year ago, flight activity last month was the second-lowest in the month of December since 2006. Activity was buoyed by a 6-percent increase in private flights, while charter flights fell by 1 percent, maintaining this segment’s “steady downward trend” throughout 2013.
Business aircraft flights rose in several major markets, including the UK, Italy and France, but declined in Germany, Turkey and Russia, WingX noted. For the full year, bright spots included Spain, Ukraine and the Benelux countries, it said. There was increased activity last month in flights headed to Europe from North America, the Middle East and Asia. Over the year, activity from West Africa and Central Asia slowed but accelerated from India and China.
According to WingX managing director Richard Koe, the popularity of ultra-long-range jets throughout 2013 showed no sign of slowing down. “And together with niche demand for super-midsize and very light jets, this activity will lead on the overall market recovery we expect in 2014,” he concluded.