Data research firm WingX’s business aviation monitor, released quarterly to EBAA members, is showing a contrasting picture in Europe, with a slight 1.6 percent, unevenly spread growth in flights in the first quarter. Several major Western markets enjoyed noticeable growth in charter and private flights, including France, Belgium and Germany. The upward trend was even stronger in Greece and Poland. The statistics also include Russia, with 1.7-percent growth compared to the first quarter of 2013.
However, almost half of the 39 surveyed countries saw declining activity. In the first quarter, sizable decreases could be found in Turkey and Ukraine, WingX noted.
If looked at by aircraft category, both business jet and turboprop traffic fell. This was more than offset by an 18-percent growth of the business piston fleet. Jets and turboprops still represent 69 and 17 percent of total departures. Based on charter pricing and empty legs, WingX suggests that ultra-long range and very light jets are those segments that progressed the most.
Flights lasting a maximum one hour and a half account for almost two thirds of the activity. But the longest flights–more than six hours–were up, too, last quarter, although they are a tiny portion of the pie.
WingX monitors airports as well and reported a strong quarter in London Farnborough, Vienna Schwechat and Madrid Barajas. The top two airports, Paris Le Bourget and Geneva, declined. The combination of London-area airfields still had the highest number of departures, by far.