Business aviation activity in Europe started off this year on bad footing, with departures falling 4.5 percent year-over-year last month, to 47,628, according to data released today by WingX Advance. Flights of business jets and pistons were each down 5 percent from a year ago, while turboprop flights declined 1.5 percent.
Last month’s decline mainly came in Western Europe—especially in France, Italy and Spain—which accounted for about one-third of the total 2,220 fewer departures in the entire region from a year ago. Activity in Southern Europe weakened by 8 percent last month and flights from Europe to the CIS region slid 14 percent.
A bright spot was business aviation flights into Europe from North America, which climbed 8 percent last month. Flights from the Middle East were down 5 percent and flights to Africa slumped 27 percent. Private flights between Europe’s busiest city pair, Paris (Le Bourget Airport) and Geneva, was up 8 percent.
“This disappointing start to 2016 breaks the recovering trend in last year’s fourth quarter,” said WingX managing director Richard Koe. “Undoubtedly the fall-off in demand is linked to the abrupt deterioration in the wider economy. Overall, we should hope that the bad start to the year is a blip, as were the first couple of months of 2015.”