Business aviation aiding European recovery

A new report from forecasting and research consultancy Oxford Economics demonstrates how business aviation delivers substantial benefits to not only its clients, but also to local governments and communities.
Commissioned by the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), the study outlines the significance of business aviation in Europe and quantifies how the sector’s activities directly and indirectly contribute to European economies.
The report confirms the fact that business aircraft primarily carry key corporate decision-makers on high value-added trips. Moreover, Oxford Economics has deduced that each additional passenger flown on a business aviation flight generates the same GDP as nine business passengers on a scheduled flight. Contrary to popular belief, business aircraft are not solely reserved for wealthy individuals for private use. Instead, as one major aircraft operator estimated, 80% of these aircraft are used by corporations, including a quarter of the firms in the Eurostoxx-50 (the Eurozone’s 50 leading companies), and 20% of those in the DAX (the German equivalent).
Europe’s economic recovery is very much dependent on the region’s ability to remain competitive in the global marketplace and stimulate investment. “It has been shown that two-thirds of executives declare face-to-face contact to be crucial in deal-making. Business aviation facilitates such meetings like no other form of transport, thanks to the flexibility of its service,” says Brian Humphries, EBAA President. “If you consider Oxford’s finding that 96% of city pairs served by business aviation in 2011 had no scheduled connection, it is little wonder that business aircraft passengers place a value on business aviation flights that is between eight to fifteen times higher than those made on scheduled airlines.”
The Oxford Economic Study also underlines the importance of business aviation to the local economy. It finds, for example, at Farnborough Airport in the UK, direct on-site employment is estimated at around 1,000, but an additional 4,000 jobs in the local area are part of the airport’s wider supply chain. Elsewhere NetJets’ recent order for new planes will help sustain 5,000 jobs in Belfast into the medium term. Business aviation’s contribution to physical investment in the local economy is also noted. For example, looking ahead, Paris-Le Bourget airport expects to spend around €70m in the coming decade upgrading its facilities.
“What this study clearly points out is that business aviation is playing a key role in facilitating Europe’s recovery,” says Fabio Gamba, EBAA CEO. “This importance should be recognised in policy formulation, with legislators developing regulations and mechanisms that bolster business aviation activity in order to further stimulate the growth of our region, rather than ignore it as it was evidenced with the European Commission’s proposed recast on slot allocation, or penalise it as the Italian government has done by introducing a double tax on owners and passengers, resulting in dismal traffic figures in the country.”