Europe’s hot summer for private jet flights, by the numbers

It was a warm start to summer in European private jet travel with a forecast for more heat until September. We have some cool facts to share and tips to make your journey a breeze.

This June, European private jet travel* saw 62,272 departures and 62,503 arrivals, according to statistics gathered by WingX for the European Business Aircraft Association (EBAA).

The largest share of flights took place within the country (both departure and arrival), with the top five spots going to Italy (2,871); France (2,836); Germany (2,737); the United Kingdom (2,248); and Spain (1,930).

The three highest traffic flows between countries were flights departing from the United Kingdom destined for France (1,284), fights departing France destined for Italy (1,009) and flights departing Italy destined for France (974).

The top three airport pairs by the number of flights were:

  • Paris-Le Bourget ⇔ Nice-Côte d’Azur (154 flights LBG>NCE/142 flights NCE>LBG).

  • Paris-Le Bourget ⇔ Geneva Cointrin International (141 flights LBG>GVA/118 flights GVA>LBG).

  • Paris-Le Bourget ➡ Farnborough (103 flights).

The most common departures from Farnborough were nearly evenly split between Paris-LeBourget (98) and Nice-Côte d’Azur (99).

The most popular international destinations departing from Europe were North America (1,704 flights), Asia (1,447), and Africa (866), with South America lagging (61).

Light jets were busiest, accounting for 15,589 of all departures. Heavy jets took the second spot with 11,218 departures.

The five most popular aircraft flown were:

  • Cessna-Citation Excel/XLS (6,155 departures)

  • Embraer-Phenom 300 (4,243)

  • Cessna-Citation CJ2 (3,143)

  • Bombardier-Challenger 300/350 (3,078)

  • Dassault-Falcon 2000 (3,056)

The record for busiest long-range aircraft in June goes to the Gulfstream-G600/650 with an active fleet of 262 aircraft, a total of 1,311 departures, an average sector length of 2.9 hours and an average trip distance of 2,099 km flown.

The summer heat continues in July.

Coming off an overheated June, which saw many delays and complications in commercial air travel extend to private jet operations, European private jet travel demand remains high in July.

As WingX reports, Europe “has seen 13% more flights in the first two and a half weeks of July this year versus last year, activity which is a remarkable 23% higher than in July 2019.” WingX analysts do not forecast this demand letting up until September.

The majestic Falcon 8X flying over summer islands
The Falcon 8X flying over summer islands

Where are European business jets headed now?

The most popular destinations in July are France, Italy and Spain. Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, and Montenegro have experienced a decline compared to a year ago (though still higher than two and three years ago), which WingX attributes to last year’s Covid travel restrictions. These somewhat dampened and re-opened destinations might be ideal for those who want to avoid crowds.

It’s still wise to pack some patience.

The factors which disrupted European commercial aviation in June continue, including a shortage of staff at airports and delays from air traffic controllers (ATC). The impact of this situation on private jet operations is undeniable. While our operations team monitors traffic around the clock to optimize service to our customers, there are still factors outside our control which may affect your travels.

Customers can help ensure a smoother journey by planning proactively.

  • Book early to ensure the availability of your desired flight.

  • Expect some delays may occur, but arrive at the airport on time. When ATC windows open, we want you to be ready for take-off.

  • Avoid cancellation fees by being sure of your booking.

  • Don’t risk deal hunting expeditions. Consider our recommended options and operators, curated by our operations team to ensure customer satisfaction.


*Excludes traffic figures for turboprop aircraft and very light jets.