2013 Has Not Started Well For Charter Sector
Unsurprisingly, considering the wave of further bad economic news from the sunnier parts of the Eurozone, chartered business jet departures from southern European cities dropped far more steeply over this part winter than in northern Europe. New charter data prepared by online charter portal Avinode exclusively for AIN shows departures out of southern Europe dipping below 10,000 in January 2013. This was almost 1,000 below the total for the same period last year and a big drop from the almost 20,000 departures seen in July 2012. By comparison, the inevitable seasonal fluctuations have been far more gradual for flights out of Northern Europe (see Business Jet Departures in Europe chart).
The data from Avinode (Booth 1047) also shows demand for flights to Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States bolstering overall charter departures to points outside the European Union (EU), with an increase of 11 percent (510 additional flights) from the first quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of this year. Both the Middle East and Latin America also saw double-digit percentage increases over the same period, but with lower flight volumes. By contrast, flights to North America, Asia and Africa, somewhat surprisingly, dipped (see Business Jet Departures from the EU to other Regions chart).
Business jet charters within the EU largely have followed a standard seasonal pattern over the past two years. However, movements for the first quarter of 2013 were, in fact, 7.6 percent down on the same period last year (see Business Jet Flights within EU chart).
The discouraging news does not stop there because Avinode’s tracking of flights out of the most popular EU airports and countries shows almost universal decline of 2 to 23 percent between the first quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013. Slight exceptions were Nice Côte d’Azur and London Biggin Hill airports (see Top Departure Airport chart) and Belgium and Portugal (see Top Departure Country chart).
Overall, charter flights departing EU airports showed a 7-percent decline from the first quarter of 2012 to the first three months of this year. Avinode’s Heavy Jet category was up 3 percent, but both the Light Jet and Midsize segments were down by 11 percent and 7 percent, respectively.