VLJs continued their success story in 2010
Hamburg-based business aviation consultancy, Wingx, reports a strong year for Very Light Jets, but notes that the predicted 'revolution' is taking place at a much slower pace and with completely different business models.
In 2010 traffic of this class of aircraft in Europe shot up by 75.4% (2009: 159.2%). In 2010 a fleet of 93 Cessna Citation Mustang and 28 Embraer Phenom 100 (as at 31/12/2010) performed 21,700 flights. The Eclipse 500 accounted for only 1.200 flights. Within three years of the delivery of the first VLJs to Europe these aircraft were able to grab a share of 4.2% of all jet flights in Europe.
“Our market data shows that the Mustang - and increasingly the Phenom 100 - are taking away market share from aged Citations and from light jets like Learjet 40, Citation CJ1, CJ2 and CJ3.” said Christoph Kohler, Managing Director of Wingx Advance GmbH.
The reason is the favourable mix of comfort, performance and low operating cost. As they are very fuel-efficient, rising oil prices make them even more competitive. This is especially important because charter operators report that customers remain very price sensitive.
The development in Europe is similar to the United States, where VLJ traffic increased by 86% to 57,000 flights in 2010. Due to a growing fleet (94 aircraft at year end), the Phenom 100 was able to more than double its market share to 29.5%, which makes it second after the Mustang (42.1%). “Because of the growing fleet, the Phenom 100 is going to expand its market share in Europe as well”, says Christoph Kohler.
The increasing number of flights of VLJs in Europe not only reflects the growing fleet, but also the build-up of maintenance capacity which increases aircraft availability and the number of flight hours per year. Europe’s most active VLJ airports in 2010 have been Paris Le Bourget, Geneva, Roma Ciampino, Nice and Zurich.