Business Aviation to Grow 4% Annually in Europe

European social perspectives recognize the value of business aviation rather than seeing it as a luxury.

While this generates time savings for the travelers, for controllers, it spreads already small volumes of traffic amongst a large number of small airports. The study indicated that, currently, only 30% of business aviation departures are from airports with more than 100 instrument flight rules (IFR) departures per day. As a result, business aviation could provide the much- needed safety valve to relieve the growing congestion at the region's largest airports but only if the basic infrastructure can be provided to serve smaller airports.

Only 11 percent of the 1,100 airfields in Europe, able to accept business aviation, have fixed-base operations providing specialist ground handling, servicing and other support for business aviation including ground transport, fuel, maintenance, catering and customs facilities.

Business aviation in Europe is concentrated in six states which accounted for 69% of all business departures in 2005. Five of these states have a five percent or larger share of total departures. Between them, Germany and France account for one third of all business aviation departures, compared to less than a quarter for other traffic.

The report also compared the scheduled and business sectors, saying they both had 700 operators. However, owing to the fact that business aviation is 10 times smaller, it is clear most operators have only one or two aircraft - 85% have fewer than five aircraft - and limited resources to keep up with changes in equipment requirements or other resources needed to serve the business.

The forecast compared seven published forecasts from engine manufacturers to consultants. The jet fleet will grow the fastest, with about 1,100 flights per day by 2015 although many high-growth predictions, especially those for VLJs could mean an additional 1,800 more daily flights by the end of the forecast period.

Turboprops and Supersonics

Eurocontrol cited a Forecast International report saying civil turboprops are expected to remain stable over the next 10 years. It adds that yearly deliveries will increase by around 10 percent until 2008, the vast majority in single-engine aircraft. Corporate flight departments will favor twin-engine aircraft, ensuring stable sales. Beyond 2008, turboprop deliveries will slow as VLJs come on line.

In conclusion, Eurocontrol predicted a 15 percent growth in turboprops over the 10 years from the current 567 to about 650 in 2014. The report also pointed to the development of supersonic jets - including ones planned by Aerion and SAI which are expected to launch in 2012-2013 - as being a small factor in the growth in the out years of the forecast. Aerion expects a market for 250- 300 aircraft worldwide over 10 years even with an $80 million price tag.

Fractional ownership will not see the popularity it has seen in the U.S., said Eurocontrol. Instead, the agency affords greater importance to card programs in which clients buy flight hours instead of actual share in an aircraft. Currently, fractionals account for 10-15 percent of the global business jet production topping out at 20-30 percent over the next 10 years, according to some forecasters, and 10-15 percent according to others.

Bo Redeborn, +32-2-729-34-20

Main European Business Fleets Company: NetJets Country: Portugal* # of Aircraft: 91 Primary Fleet Operations in Europe: Fractional Shares Operator; Card Programme Operator Company: Grupo Gestair Country: Spain # of Aircraft: 31 Primary Fleet Operations in Europe: Charter, Fleet management Company: Jetalliance Flugbetriebs Country: Austria # of Aircraft: 28 Primary Fleet Operations in Europe: Charter, Fleet management Company: London Executive Aviation Country: United Kingdom # of Aircraft: 22 Primary Fleet Operations in Europe: Charter, Fleet management Company: TAG Aviation Country: United Kingdom, Switzerland # of Aircraft: 20 Primary Fleet Operations in Europe: Charter, Fleet management Company: Zimex Aviation Country: Switzerland # of Aircraft: 20 Primary Fleet Operations in Europe: Charter Company: Aero Services Executive Country: France # of Aircraft: 16 Primary Fleet Operations in Europe: Charter, Fleet management Company: DaimlerChrysler Aviation Country: Germany # of Aircraft: 14 Primary Fleet Operations in Europe: Corporate, Charter, Fleet Mgmt. 17 Operators 639 Operators * NetJets entire fleet is registered in Portugal, but there aircraft operate throughout Europe with no set base Source: PRISME-Fleet and ALG analysis

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