Business Flights Up In Europe

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Business jet activity is showing a steady increase in Europe and the biggest jump is being recorded by the smallest aircraft. WingX Advance, a German research and consulting company, says very light jets recorded (PDF) a whopping 23 percent increase in flights in January of 2014 compared to January of 2013. The Cessna Citation Mustang flew most of those. The relatively short distances between European business centers puts the Mustang within easy reach of most of them and it appears charter customers don't mind the small cabin for the short hops. The little jets even seemed to take market share from aircraft in the light jet category, which saw flights drop 3 percent. But even though overall traffic is up by a healthy 4 percent over last year, the analysts noted it's still 16 percent lower than the pre-recession levels of 2009.

At the other end of the scale, super midsize jets are taking business from midsize aircraft and increases there are in the double digits. In what may be a significant indication of the improving economy in Europe, private piston aircraft flights are also posting a healthy increase. Private piston aircraft flew 20 percent more in January of 2014 compared to January of 2013. Europe is always a major business aircraft destination and arrivals trends reflect developments in the world economy. There was a 39 percent increase in flights from India and 16 percent from China and Brazil respectively.