A rare growth month for European business aviation does little to curb 2013 decline

A Beechcraft King Air 350i turboprop in flight.

A Beechcraft King Air 350i turboprop in flight.

WINGX Advance says activity for business aircraft in Europe was down 2% year-on-year in 2013.
Beechcraft King Air 350

WINGX Advance says the King Air 350 was Europe’s most used business aircraft in 2013.

Business aviation in Europe ended 2013 with activity down 2 per cent on 2012, despite a 2.4 per cent pick-up in December (42,623 departures), which was driven by a 6 per cent increase in charter flights.

New data from WINGX Advance has shown that last month was actually the second worst December for business aviation activity since 2006, with charter flights falling by 1 per cent.

“December activity shows an increase in confidence, especially from aircraft owners,” says Richard Koe, managing director of WINGX Advance.  “In terms of overall direction, the market is not yet out of recession but this appears to be due to the deadweight of the significant mid-size and light jet fleet for which there is waning demand. The popularity of ultra-long range jets throughout 2013 shows no sign of slowing down, and together with niche demand for super-mid and very-light jets, this activity will lead on the overall market recovery we expect in 2014”

The UK, Italy and France all saw gains in December, but there were declines in Germany, Turkey and Russia. In terms of the 2013 as a whole, the year was a good one for Spain, Ukraine and the Benelux countries.

Ultra-long range aircraft grew significantly in December as well as super-midsize and very light jets, but the latter both flew less over the course of the year when compared with 2012.

The most used private jets throughout 2013 were the King Air 350, the Phenom 300, the Global Express and the Cessna Citation CJ4.

Although Cessna’s large XLS fleet was a popular choice for private jet fliers in December, it posted the largest declines over the year.

Looking at airports, Luton, Farnborough and Nice all posted strong activity in December – along with airports typically used by skiers – but Nice and Zhuliany were the only airports to grow in 2013.

If you would like to read how European business aviation activity fared over the year in more detail, you read WINGX Advance’s review of 2013 exclusive to Corporate Jet Investor.

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