New figures released by WingX, independent business aviation specialists with expertise in compiling industry data and analysis, show that the overall business aviation market in Europe declined slightly last year.
An annual total of 798,000 business aviation flights were recorded, down 0.3% on 2015 – even the last month of the year, December, saw a slight drop overall, with 52,419 flights in Europe, down 0.6% year-on-year.
The decline in December was said to be due to weaker turboprop and piston activity, according to WingX, while business jet flights actually climbed. The company added that the 12-month trend for business jets is now positive, offset by negative trends in propeller aircraft activity.
December figures were also not helped by a weaker demand in Germany, with departures down 9% – around 760 fewer flights – with business jet flights down 3%. France also saw a slight overall decline in activity, although business jet flights were up 6%. UK activity grew 1%, Italy and Spain 2%, and Switzerland 6%. Intra-European activity was down 1% overall in December, with arrivals from the Middle East and Africa up considerably, but down for North America and Russia.
WingX said in a statement, “Overall, a disappointing finish to 2016, the full year showing no aggregate improvement on a stagnant 2015; discounting the recent decline in propeller activity, especially in Germany, the market has recovered, especially in business jet AOC activity. This was most evident in December’s growth in small jet charters, especially from Switzerland, Italy and Spain.”