Europe’s Top 20 private jet airports in 2017

2017 was a business aviation success story in Europe, with overall flight activity up 4% and charter (on-demand hire of a private jet) leading this recovery. But where exactly were these growing number of flights taking off or landing?

We analysed industry figures from intelligence provider WingX-Advance, to create our Top 20 private jet airports infographic and table below. This reveals that ALL of the Top 20 saw annual growth against the year before – something we haven’t seen for many years – with some showing particularly impressive gains.

London reigns supreme as Europe’s top city for private jets

London was once again the busiest city in Europe for private jet travel in 2017, with four of the UK capital’s airports making Europe’s Top 20, with a combined total of over 79,000 private aviation movements (a departure or arrival). It is also home to the airport that showed the most growth of any in the Top 20 – London Biggin Hill.

With extended hours and a £15M investment plan putting it under the spotlight, Biggin Hill’s team have done a great job over the past few years to change perceptions of being a poor relation to its glossier rivals. With an attractive and competitive pricing strategy, and helicopter transfers to cut down transfer times to London, more and more customers are choosing it.

Luton remains the UK’s busiest private jet airport at no.4 in the list, but its limited availability for private jets capped its growth at 2.1%. Like Geneva, it has become a victim of its own success: When airlines and private jets compete for space on the runway, private jets lose out. And in London, private jet customers and businesses can choose to go elsewhere (including London Farnborough at no.6 which showed a more impressive 9% growth).

Further down the table, London’s airports saw a changing-of-the-guard with London Oxford Airport moving into the list for the first time, and overtaking London RAF Northolt which fell out of the Top 20 with a decline. Northolt’s reputation for VVIP service and privacy is unrivalled, but a lack of investment and staffing has meant customers have had to go elsewhere in the past year.

One to watch in the future is London Southend. It’s not yet in Europe’s Top 20, but with its new Stobart Jet Centre opening last month, more and more customers may see it as a real alternative in 2018.

Paris Le Bourget stays at no.1 & Nice overtakes Geneva

Paris Le Bourget was the single busiest private jet airport in Europe last year, with over 50,000 private flight movements. Unlike in London, Paris’ private jet movements are centred around one single airport, with few private jet customers in the city using any other airport.

A second French airport was at no.2 – Nice Cote d’Azur with annual growth of 7%. The southern French airport overtook Geneva in 2017 which, like London Luton, saw its growth capped by limited runway availability.

Spain’s top three airports all saw strong growth (Palma; Madrid and Ibiza), each moving up the table from 2016.

The German market was more static than others, with only modest growth at its top private jet airport, Munich Munchen.

Europe’s Top 20 airports for private jets 2017

1 (1) Paris Le Bourget 50,684 2.5%
2 (3) Nice Cote D’Azur 34,536 6.6%
3 (2) Geneva 33,812 3.4%
4 (4) London Luton 28,890 2.1%
5 (5) Zurich 24,596 1.8%
6 (6) London Farnborough 24,502 9.0%
7 (7) Milan Linate 19,150 1.7%
8 (8) Moscow Vnukovo 18,322 4.6%
9 (9) Rome Ciampino 15,520 1.4%
10 (14) London Biggin Hill 15,132 16.2%
11 (10) Vienna Schwechat 15,088 2.1%
12 (11) Munich Munchen 14,498 1.2%
13 (12) Cannes Mandelieu 13,852 1.5%
14 (13) Stuttgart 13,390 0.8%
15 (16) Palma de Mallorca 12,486 8.7%
16 (18) Madrid Barajas 12,146 10.2%
17 (15) Berlin Schoenefeld 11,984 4.1%
18 (19) Ibiza 11,640 8.6%
19 (20) Vaclav Havel 11,318 6.5%
20 (-) London Oxford 10,494 5.3%

For advice or prices for private charter flights to these airports – or any other global airport – contact us or call our Flight Team (24 hours) on +44 (0)20 7100 6960.

Posted: February 13th, 2018 by Adam Twidell

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