Against the backdrop of Europe closing its borders and rapidly declining airline schedules, business jet flights between Europe and greater China have seen a spike in activity.
Speaking exclusively to Corporate Jet Investor, Richard Koe, MD of Germany-based business aviation consultancy WINGX Advance, said that his firm had tracked a big increase in flights between Europe and China/Hong Kong since Friday, March 13th.
According to Koe, the spike coincided with Europe beginning to close its borders, and airlines cutting back on flight schedules.
Koe says that the biggest increases have been from Switzerland and the UK, with Geneva and London’s Luton airport seeing the biggest increase in departures.
“WINGX has noted an increase in YOY [year-on-year] flight activity from Europe to China, with almost three times as many flights as usual in the first half of March, especially since the end of last week when European borders started to close and airlines cut back their schedules,” said Koe. “Most of this outbound traffic has come from the UK, mainly Luton, and from Switzerland, principally Geneva.”
According to WINGX, on Tuesday, March 17th were 10 direct business jet flights from Europe to greater China. On the same day last year, there were just three. The WINGX data only shows flights direct flights between Europe and greater China and doesn’t account for aircraft that stopped en route.
The WINGX data is backed up by the Hong Kong Business Aviation Centre (HKBAC) which said that it broke its movement record on Wednesday, March 18th.
Overall in March, HKBAC has seen a 50% rise in activity compared with the previous month. It said that it is currently almost full to capacity, but that it is still receiving three times the number of enquiries as it would do normally at this time of the year.