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Business Air News
Business Air News
The monthly news publication for aviation professionals.

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The monthly news publication for aviation professionals.

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Are we seeing the first tentative signs of recovery?
By mid-year 2009 business aviation traffic figures in Europe were some 20 per cent down on 2008 with little sign of any upturn.

By mid-year 2009 business aviation traffic figures in Europe were some 20 per cent down on 2008 with little sign of any upturn. This was perhaps not as bad as in the US but bad enough.

However in the second half of the year the reductions began to abate so that by early autumn we were forecasting an annual out-turn only 15 per cent down on 2008. However, as our members began increasingly to tell us, things were continuing to improve to the point that by November we were just back in positive territory compared with the same period a year earlier. Then came December and, while in line with seasonal patterns, business aviation traffic declined in comparison with November ... for the first time since the beginning of the recession, compared to 2008 the traffic figures showed positive signs of growth, bringing us to a slightly better than forecast final 2009 out-turn of minus 14.5 per cent.

So, with 2009 back to 2005 traffic levels, and positive reports from several members, we are looking forward to seeing this incipient recovery sustained in 2010. Moreover, this favourable trend seems to be backed up by EBACE bookings where, to our delight, exhibitor bookings are slightly up on the equivalent period in 2009, as are advance hotel bookings. So readers, things are at last looking up for our sector, if still only modestly.

Roll on the rest of 2010.

Brian Humphries, president European Business Aviation Association (EBAA).