There were 54,000 business aviation flights in Europe in April 2013, reflecting a growth of more than 10% on April 2012, but WINGX Advance, a German research and consulting company, maintain that the trend is downwards, noting that the April spike in traffic was caused by an early Easter.
When compared with March – April 2012, WINGX reported a 3.4% decrease in European business aviation activity for March – April 2013.
“The year-on-year increase in April was flattered by Easter falling earlier this year,” said Richard Koe, managing director of WINGX Advance. “Discounting this effect by looking at the March-April period, we are losing activity.”
This was echoed in the US, where TRAQPak reported a 1.9% decrease from March to April 2013 – as usually happens – but activity remained virtually flat over the year, with a small 0.4% decrease.
This, however, was triggered by a 5.7% decrease in turboprops, with business jet activity actually growing over the year. Large-cabin jets fared best with a 4.9% growth, while mid-sized grew by 2.5% and light jets by 1%.
In Europe, flight activity was hit hardest in the west of the continent, with notable declines in Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, although France saw a small increase. Incoming flights from the Middle East, the US, China and West Africa also grew.
“There are bright spots, such as jet activity out of Russia, charter traffic in Ukraine, private flying on VLJs, and stand-out demand for Bombardier aircraft, said Koe. “But business aviation in Europe won´t see light at the end of the tunnel until we’re into an economic recovery.”