March 28, 2011

A report last month from Eurocontrol shows that as the European economy is recovering, businesses there are starting to fly again.

The latest Eurocontrol analysis showed the number of 2010 business flights in Europe rose by 5.5 percent over 2009, and that the travel is largely into small and mid-sized communities. Eurocontrol head of forecasting David Marsh pointed out that even in 2009, about two-thirds of European business flights were between city pairs without airline service.

Review “Briefing: Business Aviation in Europe in 2010” on the Eurocontrol Web Site

The value of business aviation in serving communities with little or no airline service is one of the main themes of the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign, which is jointly sponsored by NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

Bill Stine, NBAA director, international pperations, says that while the No Plane No Gain program’s message has been highly effective in educating American policymakers and opinion leaders about the industry’s value, the campaign’s themes are universal.

“The No Plane No Gain campaign obviously resonates as well in Europe as it does in the U.S.,” said Stine. “The facts are incontrovertible: businesses that use their own aircraft bring the same benefits to citizens, companies and communities in Europe that they provide here in the U.S.”

The brightening horizon for business aviation in Europe was first visible last year at EBACE2010. The annual European business aviation show had sold-out exhibit space, a waiting list and 11,174 attendees. When that show ended, European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) president and CEO Brian Humphries said, “on the heels of such a difficult period for the aviation industry, this year’s EBACE had a particular excitement surrounding it.”

This year’s show, EBACE2011, will be held May 17–19, 2011, in Geneva, Switzerland, and is expected to again attract participants from as far away as Africa, Asia, the Middle East and North America.