Business aviation flying in Europe last month climbed 22 percent month-over-month and 2.1 percent year-over-year, to 52,931 flights, according to Hamburg, Germany-based business aviation data firm WingX Advance. After three consecutive monthly increases, activity in the first quarter edged up by 1.6 percent from the same period a year ago.
WingX said the year-over-year increase was “clearly buoyed” by private flight activity, up by 8 percent, and “particularly private flights on business piston aircraft,” which soared by 28 percent. This performance is less encouraging from the perspective of the business jet fleet, for which activity was down 1.1 percent, and for charter activity overall, down 3.9 percent.
Flying activity growth was strong in the largest markets in Western Europe, including France, Switzerland, Germany, the UK and Italy. Activity in Russia and Ukraine crumbled, WingX noted. Flights to Europe continued to increase from North America, North Africa, India and China, while those from the Middle East have slowed and previously positive incoming-flight trends from CIS countries have reversed.
Demand for ultra-long-range business jets accelerated by 20 percent year-over-year, WingX said. “Apart from business pistons, the other segment in renewed demand is super-light jets, but for charter rather than private flights,” it added.