Popular European destinations are seeing an increase in demand for traffic within the continent, according to a report from Swedish online air charter marketplace Avinode (Booth D69), which recently analyzed flight requests through its online marketplace for buying and selling private air charter from April 1, 2017 to March 21, 2018.
From April 1, 2017 to March 21, 2018, the most popular destination for intra-European business aviation flights was France, which accounted for 20 percent of the market. During this 2017-2018 time period, requested flights to France rose to 480,891 requests compared to 379,771 requests during the April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017 time frame, which is a 27 percent increase. After France, the top five intra-European destinations were: the UK, with a 36 percent increase to 325,433 requests; Spain, with a 44 percent increase at 321,898 requests; Italy, with a 37 percent increase at 316,032 requests; and Switzerland, with a 33 percent increase at 162,244 requests.
While France is the top destination, interest in the UK is quickly growing. “The strength of the British and French markets is also shown in the fact London Luton Airport-Nice Côte d’Azur Airport is the most popular intra-European route,” said Oliver King, Avinode CEO. “And Spain should take confidence from the fact Ibiza Airport was the destination for four of the 20 most requested intra-European routes in the year to March 31, 2018, with all four of those routes growing in popularity over those 12 months.”
When it comes to aircraft, Cessna Citations were the top five aircraft for travel throughout Europe. The Mustang was the top aircraft, followed by the CJ2, XLS, CJ2+, and XLS+. King noted that the number of small jets listed by European operators (entry-level jet, light jet, and super-light jet categories) increased by 4 percent during the 2017-2018 time period.
Most flights into Europe from outside of the continent came from Russia, which represented 66 percent of requests in this market. Following Russia, U.S. departures made up 6 percent of the market and departures from Saudi Arabia made up 4 percent. In this market, four of the six most requested business aircraft were Bombardier Challengers. The top aircraft was the Challenger 604 with a 6 percent share, followed by the Embraer Legacy 600.
However, King believes that the business aviation industry will face some uncertainty in the future: “We have seen a sustained period of wealth creation across the globe, combined with significant investment in digital charter models in both the U..S and Europe. Potential trade disputes, political uncertainty in the U.S. and UK, as well as rising oil prices, threaten growth, particularly in the luxury leisure market of Europe.”
According to Avinode, European business aviation brokers can risk falling behind by using legacy processes. For this reason, the company is inviting brokers to try TripManager, Avinode’s sales management system. TripManager allows users to automate repetitive data entry tasks, plan flights, quickly craft professional quotes, and manage and update the customer database. The platform is integrated with PayNode so users need to submit their information only once.
“Seeing our game-changing technology drive the industry forward is incredibly exciting and rewarding,” King said. “We understand some European brokers feel comfortable using long-established processes, but those legacy solutions are painfully slow and inefficient now. If you don’t make changes soon, you risk falling behind your competitors.”