A report by business aviation market intelligence provider WingX Advance has found that the UK ranked among the top three countries for growth in Europe in 2017, thanks to an additional 375 departures per month compared with the previous year.
The news will be welcomed by those based in the UK, who are facing regulatory uncertainty as Brexit negotiations continue.
Much of the UK’s 4.3% year-on-year business aviation growth during 2017 was driven by London, which saw a 5.5% increase in overall activity.
London Biggin Hill Airport saw the most substantial rise, reporting a 15.6% boost in business aviation flights, followed by London Stansted and Farnborough, which witnessed a 12.9% and 9.4% upturn in annual flight activity respectively.
The UK’s 2018 performance is also looking promising with over 3,800 business aviation departures reported in January, more than double that of the next busiest city – Paris, France.
Charter demand continues to drive the numbers, with AOC flights in the UK up 10% year-on-year in January. Over 60% of the UK’s business aviation departures are commercially-operated, far higher than either France or Germany.
Trends indicate that the light jet segment is the most active within this market, accounting for 19% of all commercial sectors flown from the UK last year.
Richard Koe, WingX Advance’s managing director, says within this segment, the most active aircraft types flying in 2017 were the Cessna Citation CJ2 and the Embraer Phenom 300. The next busiest was the Citation Bravo, which saw over 1,500 departures out of the UK, an increase in activity of more than 50% from 2016.
The charter market also saw particularly impressive growth in 2017, increasing by 8.3% compared with the previous year.