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Is Europe's Business Aviation Fleet Growing?

As eyes turn to Geneva, Switzerland for EBACE2018, we assess the current health of the European Business Aviation fleet today. Which make and model business jets and turboprops are popular here? Mike Chase analyses JETNET data.

Mike Chase   |   23rd May 2018
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Mike Chase Mike Chase

Mike Chase has four decades of extensive global managerial experience in the Corporate Aviation,...
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This month as eyes turn to Geneva, Switzerland for EBACE2018, Mike Chase assesses the health of the European Business Aviation fleet today…

It has been 61 years since, in 1957, the Treaties of Rome established the European Economic Community (EEC). Reviewing the ECC Winter 2018 report, Europe’s recovery from the financial crisis has been relatively slow and the overview title of this year’s ECC report is ‘Navigating Through Choppy Waters’.

Euro area recovery continues, but is surrounded by heightened uncertainty.

Europe’s economy appears to have so far weathered the recent deterioration in external conditions. The Euro-area and EU GDP are both estimated to have grown by 2.4% in 2017 (the fastest pace in a decade) and is forecast to expand by 2.3% in 2018 before easing back to 2.0% in 2019.

Global GDP growth is expected to have reached a low point in 2016. Growth outside the EU is projected to pick up gradually from 3.2% in 2016, to 3.7% in 2017 and 3.9% in 2018.

To mention just a few current concerns and challenges within Europe are exceptionally weak world trade, terror attacks in some Member States and neighboring countries, and the UK's vote to leave the EU and uncertain outcome of those negotiations. US policy uncertainty has raised the possibility of isolationist and protectionist policies that would hurt the global and European economy, should they be enacted. Recent news indicates that the trade war is starting.

Following, we’ll reflect on the current European business jet and turboprop fleet from several views.

Europe’s BizAv Fleet (Global Perspective)

At the end of March 2018, Europe accounted for 2,481 (12%) of the global wholly-owned in-operation business jet fleet, and 1,264 (9%) of the total business turboprop fleet (see Table A). That represents eight more business jets in Europe in 2018 compared to 2017, while business turboprops increased by 57 aircraft Year-over-Year.

 Wholly-Owned In Operation Aircraft by Continent

Europe still ranks a distant second regionally for the total number of business jets (behind North America), and third for the total number of business turboprops (behind North and South America).

Business jets based in Europe reached their peak in 2011 (2,714 units), but over the last seven years there has been a decline of 233 jets. Since reaching a peak in 2014 (1,236 units) business turboprops have increased by 28 units in Europe to record a new high in 2018.

The ADS-B Out 2020 mandate has created very interesting circumstances and conditions that our industry is working feverishly to navigate. However, this is not just a US issue; Australia was the first to require full ADS-B Out coverage, and Europe will require it on used aircraft by June 7, 2020. (June 8, 2016 saw Europe’s mandate for new aircraft come into effect).

The European fleet percentages of ADS-B Out compliant aircraft are 75% of business jets and 42% of business turboprops (per the JETNET Evolution database, 03/31/18).

Europe’s Top Ten Models

Tables B and C show that the Dassault Falcon 7X (99 units) and Pilatus PC-12 NG (129 units) lead the ‘Top Ten’ popular business jet and business turboprop models in Europe, respectively.

Europe's Top Ten Business Jets - March 2018

Included are the worldwide fleet totals for each model along with the European fleet percentage. The Falcon 7X (36%) and Bombardier Global 6000 (34%) have over one-third of their worldwide fleets based in Europe.

Europe's Top Ten Business Turboprops - March 2018
The Piaggio Avanti II (39%) and Avanti P180 (44%) turboprops have over one-third of their worldwide fleet based in Europe, meanwhile.


Business Jets & Turboprops (By OEM)

Textron (Cessna and Hawker) lead the manufacturers of business jets in operation in Europe, as depicted in Chart A, followed by Bombardier and Dassault Falcon. These ‘Top Three’ OEMs account for 83% of the 2,481 business jets in Europe.

Business Jets in Europe - March 2018

Of the Turboprop OEMs, again Textron leads the way in Europe with 41% of the total 1,264 units in operation. Piper and Pilatus also comprise the Top Three OEMs that hold a 73% share of the in operation business turboprops in Europe (see Chart B).

Business Turboprops in Europe - March 2018

Top Ten European Nations

The nations featured in Table D (Top Ten Operating Countries, Jets) and Table E (Top Ten Operating Countries, Turboprops) show Germany has the largest number of business jets and business turboprops in Europe.

Top Ten Business Jet Operating Countries 2018

Top Ten European Business Turboprop Operating Countries - 2018

Portugal (77 business jets) and the UK (1) are the only countries with jets registered in Fractional Ownership programs within Europe, while Luxembourg (17) and France (1) are the only countries with turboprops in Fractional Ownership.

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Read more about: Business Aviation Europe | Aviation Fleet Analysis | European Business Aviation

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