ACS predicts WEF to add 1,000 business aviation flights to Zurich area


Gulfstream G550 N245TT at Zurich during a previous WEF event. (Image courtesy of Bob Holland)

According to estimates by Air Charter Service (ACS), this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in the small Swiss town of Davos will generate up to 1,000 business jet flights for airports in the region.

The WEF is a global forum for discussing global trade, industry, economic and environmental issues. Its attendees include heads of state and business leaders.

While the main focus of the flights will be Zurich Airport, smaller airports in the region, including Dübendorf, St. Gallen-Altenrhein and St. Moritz, are also expecting to see an increase in movements.

“Unlike other popular events for private jets – such as the Super Bowl or Champions League final – WEF is unique for the industry in that we receive bookings from our offices all over the world, rather than just one or two locally,” said Andy Christie, group director for executive jets. “In the past couple of years, along with flights arranged through our European offices, we have had bookings from our Hong Kong, India and US operations – no other event has quite such a global appeal.”

Data from German business aviation consultancy WINGX shows that, in 2016, the number of business aircraft movements in the region increased by 335%.

The WINGX data also showed that the most popular aircraft types used were the Gulfstream and Bombardier Global families of aircraft.

“With the length of some of the journeys, these slightly larger aircraft would have been needed, but with such wealthy individuals attending, they can afford to use such aircraft from wherever they were coming – as well as the element of larger aircraft being seen as a status symbol,” said Christie.

In past years, aircraft have dropped of their passengers in Zurich, and then repositioned to other airports to park up.

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