by Chad Trautvetter - AIN Online
A 6 percent increase in business jet activity last month in Europe wasn’t enough to keep overall business aircraft flying from falling one percent year-over-year, according to the latest data from WingX Advance. “December’s flight activity was slightly down, but that appears to have been weather-related, mainly affecting owner-piloted light aircraft activity,” said WingX managing director Richard Koe.
The year ended with 4 percent growth in overall business aviation flights versus 2016, however. “Overall, 2017 was clearly a strong recovery year for business jet demand in Europe, and we expect to see more of the same in 2018,” Koe noted.
The slowdown in activity last month was centered in Western Europe, with fewer departures from France, Switzerland, Germany, and Italy. Flying was up in the UK and Spain. Germany contributed the largest growth to flight activity for all of last year.
In central and eastern Europe, Poland contributed the largest year-over-year growth last month, with departures up 25 percent. Sweden was also “well ahead” in December, said WingX. Flights from both Russia and Turkey were down last month, but were ahead for the full year. Greece had the largest relative gains last year, climbing 14 percent from 2016.
Despite an overall drop in flights in France, business aircraft departures from Le Bourget and Nice increased, mainly in jet activity. Farnborough, Nice, and London Biggin Hill contributed the most growth in activity for all of 2017.