Business aviation flight departures in Europe slipped 3.6 percent year-over-year last month, but business jet activity still managed to climb 0.4 percent, with a 6 percent gain in charter flying offsetting a 10 percent drop in private flights, according to WingX Advance. “The fall-off in activity this month bucks the recent growth trend,” said WingX managing director Richard Koe. “This might reflect some wavering in the economic outlook, especially in the UK, but it may also be a specific effect such as the earlier Easter holiday this year.”
Most of Europe’s biggest business aviation markets eroded last month, with Germany, Italy, and the UK topping that list. Spain was an exception, WingX said, with 2.6 percent year-over-year growth in departures. Apart from the UK, all the top European markets are still trending positive year to date.
In the smaller markets, activity was off 11 percent in Belgium, and 18 percent in both Turkey and Ireland. Russia’s outbound activity was flat, while there was more than 10 percent growth in departures from Greece and Poland. Overall, business aviation flights within Europe were down by 4 percent in March, according to WingX.
International activity also descended last month, with flights from Europe to North America and Asia-Pacific falling 7 percent and 5 percent, respectively. Flights from Europe to the Middle East rose 2 percent year-over-year, while those to Africa climbed 4 percent.
Paris Le Bourget was the only leading European airport to see some decline in business aviation activity last month. Farnborough Airport had the “stand out” growth this month, with departures up 18 percent from a year ago, said WingX.