European business activity surges for April

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Business aviation intelligence provider WingX has revealed the European sector saw a 5% year-on-year (YOY) growth for April, with 68,250 departures from within the continent.

Turboprops had the strongest growth rate this month, up 7% YOY. The overall data takes the year-to date (YTD) trend to a 2.8% growth compared to 2017.

April 2018 saw a bounce back in European activity trends, with robust YOY growth in France, the UK, Switzerland and especially in Germany, with business aviation activity up by 11%. There was also strong growth in smaller markets such as Poland and Greece, both trending above 20% YTD.

Elsewhere, flight activity in Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Russia and Turkey all declined, while flights from Europe to the Middle East and North America were also down in April.

Flight activity declined YOY in Italy and Spain, breaking a multi-month run of growth. In Italy, the drop-off came in heavy jet activity, where flights were down more than 10%. In the small jets sector, France, Germany and Switzerland saw more than 10% YOY growth.

The super midsize segment had strongest growth for the month, with flights up 20% YOY and activity trending at 7% growth YTD. Ultra-long range jet activity was also up 11%, a majority of which were private flights. Light jet activity was up 8%.

Richard Koe, managing director of WingX Advance, said, “The negative effect of the Easter holiday on March trends was positive for April, reflected in robust YOY growth in flights this month.

The long-term trends are still evident, with owner activity fairly flat, fractional operations boosted by fleet rejuvenation, and charter activity continuing to be the leading indicator of the market´s cyclical upturn.

“This growth in charter is notably stronger out of the top markets, mainly in small jets and on short sectors. We forecast another strong summer in this area.”

Activity trends were strongest in Western and Eastern Europe during April, with double-digit growth for flights within Germany, between Germany and the UK, and from France to Switzerland, in addition to a 40% growth on the Paris-Geneva connection.

Charter activity was up 6%, resuming its last 12-month growth trend. Private flights were up by 4%, improving on a flat trend since 2016. Charter growth was close to 10% this month in France, Germany, Switzerland and Benelux.

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Kirstie joined the team in early 2017 and brings writing, communications and client experience with her. Now an assistant editor, she produces content for our magazines and websites. Away from the office, you will find her blogging on her lifestyle website or searching the internet for photos of sausage dogs.

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