After a very good month in August—when the business aviation traffic in Europe “returned to some kind of normal” and at times was equal or even exceeding the respective figures for the past year—it is again running below the 2019 line, EBAA COO Robert Baltus said last week at the virtual Russian United Business Aviation Association (RUBAA) conference. “But this drop is not as bad as we had expected it to be,” he said. The actual figures for this autumn are running below last year’s line by 12 percent to 20 percent for certain weeks.
The sharp downfall began in March, reaching the lowest point (down about 70 percent) the following month and then recovering steadily until September. According to Baltus, the biggest traffic losses during the Covid-19 pandemic have been suffered by flights exceeding five hours, especially those across the Atlantic. Even in August, these flights were 35 percent below 2019 levels, while shorter flights (one to four hours) were pretty much on par from a year ago. Two-hour flights did the best and their share in the total number of movements has increased, he added. The cumulative drop for the whole of this year is expected to fall somewhere between 20 percent and 30 percent.
Business aircraft traffic between the EU and Russia ran slightly higher at the beginning of this year but then dropped by five times in April. It then recovered completely in August and has since been running slightly above last year. Of the 27 EU nations, the biggest traffic generators into Russia have been France, Italy, Germany, UK, and Switzerland. The last two are now roughly at the same figures as they were a year ago, while Germany is 10 percent to 15 percent higher. France and Italy suffered the highest drops in the spring—plummeting 80 percent to 95 percent —and are still running 15 percent to 20 percent below 2019 figures.