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Top Facts About Europe's Business Aircraft Fleet

As eyes turn to Geneva, Switzerland this month for EBACE2017, Mike Chase assesses the health of the European Business Aviation fleet today…

Mike Chase   |   22nd May 2017
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Mike Chase Mike Chase

Mike Chase has thirty-five year's extensive global managerial experience in marketing,...
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As eyes turn to Geneva, Switzerland this month for EBACE2017, Mike Chase assesses the health of the European Business Aviation fleet today…

According to the European Commission Winter 2017 report, Europe’s recovery from the financial crisis has been relatively slow. The European economy is now growing again, but at a modest pace with further efforts required to strengthen the region’s economy. The economic recovery in Europe has entered its fifth year and prospects for a continuation overall remain favourable.

However, numerous concerns and challenges continue, including: growth in emerging markets, exceptionally weak world trade, terrorist attacks in some Member States and neighboring countries, the UK's vote to leave the EU and uncertain outcome of the subsequent ‘Brexit’ negotiations, upcoming European elections, US Presidential election results, and uncertainty that US isolationist and protectionist policies would hurt the global and European economy, just to mention the more obvious issues facing Europe these days.

The good news is that Europe’s economy appears to have weathered the recent deterioration in external conditions, at least at present.

Euro area GDP growth, which posted a 1.7% gain in 2016, is set to ease somewhat this year to 1.6% and then pick up slightly to 1.8% in 2018. This steady but moderate expansion should remain driven by domestic demand. Global GDP growth is expected to have reached a low point in 2016 and is projected to strengthen this year and next. 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.

Following, we’ll reflect on the current European business jet and turboprop fleet. At the end of March 2017, Europe accounted for 2,473 (13%) of the global wholly-owned in-operation business jet fleet, and 1,207 (8%) of the total business turboprop fleet (see Table A). That represents 75 more (3.1%) business jets in Europe in 2017 compared to 2016. In last year’s comparison there was a decline of 56 (-2.3% fewer) business jets in 2016 versus 2015. Business turboprops decreased by a single aircraft year-over-year, meanwhile.

Europe still ranks 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).

In March 2011 Business Jets based in Europe reached their peak at 2,714 units. Over the last six years there has been a decline of 241 business jets. Over the same period business turboprops have also seen a decrease, but only by 15 units.

Europe’s Top Ten Models

Tables B and Table C show that Dassault’s Falcon 7X (112 units) and the Pilatus PC-12 NG (93 units) lead the ‘Top Ten’ popular business jets and business turboprop models in Europe, respectively.

For comparison, included are the worldwide fleet totals for each model along with the European fleet percentage. The Falcon 7X (43%) and Global 6000 (37%) have over a third of their worldwide fleet based in Europe as indicated in Table B.

The Avanti II (37%) and Avanti P.180 (48%) have over a third of their worldwide fleet based in Europe, as indicated in Table C.

Business Jets & Turboprops (By OEM)

Textron (Cessna and Hawker) lead all 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 82% of the 2,473 business jets in Europe.

Of the Turboprop OEMs (see Chart B), again Textron leads the way in Europe with 511 units (42%) of the total 1,207 units in operation. Piper and Pilatus comprise the remaining manufacturers that hold more than a 10% share of the in operation business turboprops in Europe.

Top Ten European Nations

As depicted in Table D and Table E, Germany has the largest number of business jets and business turboprops in Europe. The nations featured in Table D (Top Ten Operating Countries, Jets) and in Table E the (Top Ten Operating Countries, Turboprops) remain the same as for 2016.

Portugal (74 business jet), Luxembourg (17 turboprops) and France (1 turboprop) are the only countries with registered aircraft in fractional ownership that feature in their respective Top Ten lists. Additionally, France has the largest number of leased business jets (33) and business turboprops (24) of the Top 10 countries.

Read more about: European Business Aviation

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