Europe's business aviation airports had their busiest August in the past decade, with most of the growth coming from bizjets.
There were 83,230 business aviation departures in Europe in August, making it the busiest August in the last decade, with most of the growth coming from business jets. The total, according to data compiled by WingX Advance, was 8% down from the peak achieved in July but up 2.4% from August 2017. Growth for the year to date stands at 2.9%.
Among Europe's Top 6 countries, the busiest market, France, was down by 3% year-on-year (YOY), while Spain saw a 4% decline. There were significant upswings, however, in Germany (+8.5%), the UK (+5.9%) and Italy (+3.8%). Switzerland posted a 2.2% increase.
For the year to date (YTD), all the top 6 markets are up compared to 2017, led by Germany (+5.4%) and Switzerland (+3.9%). Among the smaller markets, there was double digit YOY growth in the Netherlands, Portugal, Finland, and a 75% increase in flights from Montenegro. YTD, Greece has the strongest rebound this year, with flights up by 10% vs the first 8 months of last year.
Business aviation demand in France continued to decline for large jets, and Spain saw a 12% retreat in YOY flights in this segment. The UK added the largest number of additional large jet flights this month. In Small and Midsize activity, Germany was up by 11%.
Domestic European flights were up 2.5% this month, in line with the YTD trend of 3%, but with considerable regional variance. Intra-France flights were down by 6%, but flights from France to UK, Italy and Germany were up by 6%, 9% and 12%, respectively.
Nice was the busiest airport, although activity fell 4.6% YOY. Activity at Luton, Ibiza and Athens was down by close to 10%. Strong growth continued at Farnborough and Biggin Hill.