New research from online air charter marketplace Avinode has revealed that sporting and cultural events taking place in Europe this summer are providing a welcome boost to business aviation figures, despite an overall 1% decline in flight activity compared with 2015.
The addition of the UEFA Euro 2016 soccer tournament, the annual F1 Monaco Grand Prix, the French Open tennis tournament and the Cannes Film Festival are all contributing to the industry’s summer peak period.
Oliver King, managing director at Avinode, commented, “The European business aviation market is still not growing as fast as the market in the USA and, according to our most recent figures, is, in fact, slowing. However, the summer months continue to provide the peak period of the year for Europe, this year with twice as many flights in July as in January 2016.
“This summer, Europe has plenty of draws for visitors, with France being one of the most popular destinations. Data from the Avinode Marketplace shows there were 10 times as many requests for flights to Nice at the end of May 2016 compared with the rest of the year, primarily driven by the F1 Monaco Grand Prix, the French Open and the Cannes Film Festival.
“Business jet charter requests also surged on June 10-11, 2016 in the 10 French host cities of the UEFA Euro 2016 football games. There was a boom in Marseille with 2,600 requests for those two days – a 100-fold increase compared with the same period in 2015. Of those requests, approximately 40% were from Russia. Looking at actual flights flown, there was an increase of 195% business jet flights to Marseille over the Championship’s opening weekend, compared with the same period 2015.”
Outside of Europe, the upcoming Rio 2016 Summer Olympics are having a huge influence on business aviation flight requests; the top 10 summer destinations for requested flight departures from Europe, through the Avinode Marketplace, sees Rio as the second most requested city.
King concluded, “Europe continues to be a leisure market driven by the preferences of high net worth individuals and a tradition of a long summer break. This is in contrast to the USA where corporate use of business jets lessens the impact of holiday peaks, and means the industry is shaped more by economic and political events, such as the 2016 Presidential Election.”