October 22, 2013
By Alton K. Marsh
Avinode, a jet charter management company, predicts a 0.7-percent increase in business flights in the United States in 2014, but a flat year for flights in Europe with only a 0.1-percent increase. Even so, that’s good news for Europe, which has seen years of decline in business jet flights.
Northern Europe will take most of the hit, with a 0.9-percent decline in flights, while southern Europe, oriented more toward leisure travel, will grow 0.7 percent. That’s not enough to get southern Europe back to the “high water mark,” the Avinode report says.
As is now generally acknowledged by most analysts, larger jets are doing better during the recession than smaller ones. That is true not only in deliveries, but in flight activity, the parameter studied by Avinode. Entry-level jets appear to be flying slightly more, but light and super light categories will decline slightly. The midsize category, including super midsize, will see a 3.6-percent decline in flight activity in Europe, but 0.7-percent growth in the United States.
“Avinode sees growth [in flight activity] across the board on the heavier side of the chart, with the heavy jet category, which accounts for the heavy and ultra-long range jet sub-categories, growing by 3.6 percent in Europe and 1.2 percent in the United States,” the report said.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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