European business aviation recovers despite reduction in owner activity

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The number of business aviation flights in Europe during October increased for the first time in several months, to reach same levels as those in October 2018, according to aviation monitoring and research company WingX.

The number of business aviation departures in Europe rose to 74,420 departures last month, thanks to an increase in the number of charter flights compared to September. However, the number of private owner flights decreased by 5% compared to last year.

Richard Koe, managing director of WingX said, “October’s flight activity shows some stabilization in demand after several months’ of decline. Business jet AOC traffic was up for the first time this year.

“Heavy and super-midsize aircraft are flying more, especially in fractional and charter fleets. This is reflecting a raft of new aircraft models coming into the market in the last 18 months, notably the Citation Latitude and new Bombardier Global jets.

“Clearly there is still volatility in the market, with big dips in activity in key hubs such as London and Paris this month. Overall, business aviation is on track to lose around 2% of activity in this year versus last.”

There were more business aviation flights in France this month, in contrast to a 6% drop in flights out of the UK. Germany has also declined this year with activity down by 5% overall. The last 12 Month trend for Europe as a whole is -1.4%.

Flights within Europe remained flat in October 2019 compared to last year. However during October there were 3.7% more flights operating to North America from Europe.

The fastest growing pair for charters this month was between Milano Malpensa and Paris Le Bourget.

Activity at Paris Le Bourget Airport decreased by 9%, in line with the 8% year-to-date decline so far observed.

Farnborough Airport continued to see strong growth with activity up 13%, in contrast to no change at London Luton and a decline in activity at London Biggin Hill. Nice Côte d’Azur Airport’s activity was up 5% year-on-year for October, although down 5% when looking at the whole of 2019 so far.

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