May 13, 2020
Business aviation traffic throughout Europe continued its “drastic downward trend” last month as the continent remained in the grip of COVID-19, according to the latest Business Aviation Traffic Tracker – Europe report published by the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA).
Drawing from air traffic data published by Eurocontrol, EBAA found business aircraft flights declined 71% in April over the same period last year. In a notable departure from the norm, remaining flights are primarily occurring within countries, as various travel restrictions continue to hinder international travel.
Last month, business aviation represented 20% of all aircraft flying across the continent, a significant percentage increase over the segment’s typical rate of closer to eight percent. That is indicative of the even steeper 90% decrease in commercial airline traffic for the month, EBAA noted.
Other differences include light business aircraft comprising a higher percentage of flights in April than midsize and large cabin jets, EBAA added, while medical airlift missions have more than doubled and now represent fully one-quarter of all European business aviation flights.
“Business aviation plays a crucial role in the fight against the outbreak,” the report noted. “Many operators specialized in medical and emergency flights are currently providing essential services to communities fighting the pandemic, including for the transport of health workers. But all other medical emergencies have not stopped and are being handled by Business Aviation operators despite numerous operational challenges and restrictions.”