Business aviation traffic in Europe has begun to slide again, erasing the slight gains in activity in early summer, according to the latest WingX Business Aviation Monitor. In November, the 56,200 business aviation departures in Europe represented a decline of 2.5 percent from a year ago. Through the first 11 months of the year, business aviation activity is down 0.8 percent from the same period in 2014, equating to 5,700 fewer flights, WingX reported. “The renewed collapse of the business jet market in Russia, down by a third this month, is a factor,” said WingX Advance managing director Richard Koe. But he also noted that the Russian activity now accounts for less than 2 percent of total European activity.
Activity in Russia last month plunged 30 percent (442 fewer flights) from the same month in 2014. Through the first 11 months, flights from Russia into Europe have dropped 23 percent and flights from Europe to the CIS region are down 27 percent. “Becoming more significant is Italy's decline, [where] the charter market is particularly weak,” Koe added.
Flight activity was down 7 percent in Italy in November, with charter flights down by 12 percent there. Along with Italy, flights in November were down in the other busiest markets in Europe: France, Germany and the UK. But Koe was encouraged that the “France and UK charter markets are quite resilient, with strong growth niches in ultra-long-range, super-midsize and very-light-jet operations.” Charter activity was up slightly in those markets in both countries.