Business aviation traffic rebounded in April, returning to growth mode with a 5 percent year-over-year increase, according to WingX Advance’s latest monthly Business Aviation Monitor. This marked a turnaround from the slowdown in March.
“The negative effect of the Easter holiday on March trends was positive for April, reflected in robust year-over-year growth in flights [in April],” said WingX Advance managing director Richard Koe. Overall owner activity is fairly flat, while fractional operations have been boosted by fleet rejuvenation, he said. Charter activity, meanwhile, has turned up in the top markets, mainly with small jets on short legs. “We forecast another strong summer in this area,” Koe said.
Turboprop flights enjoyed the greatest gains, up 7 percent year-over-year, while the business jet segment was up by 4 percent. In the business jet sector, super-midsize business jets marked the strongest growth in April, up 20 percent year-over-year. WingX said these gains primarily came from AOC holders, reflecting the rejuvenation of fractional fleets. Ultra-long-range flights were up 11 percent. A majority of these were private. Overall, charter flights ticked up 6 percent, while private flights increased 4 percent.
Business aviation traffic improved in France, the UK, Switzerland, and Germany, the latter of which saw activity jump 11 percent last month and is up 4.8 percent through the first four months.
Small jet flights climbed by more than 10 percent in France, Germany, and Switzerland. This offset declines in Italy and Spain. The slide in Italy came from 10 percent year-over-year slowdown in the number of heavy jet flights.
Flights within Germany, between German and the UK, and between France and Switzerland showed the strongest activity trends, WingX reported, noting that the Paris-Geneva city pair had 40 percent growth.