The European business aviation market is distinctively different from it’s American parallel. The American markets maintains a relatively steady year-round operation volumes, whereas the European market market is more seasonal and volatile – The summer operations are sometimes twice as the winter. The reason for the different patterns lies in the different factors driving these markets. While the American market is characterized in corporate use of business jets for private business flights, it’s European counterpart is characterized in luxury vacation flights, and driven by high net worth individuals, and a tradition of long summer vacations.

Current year has also seen a substantial spike in the private aviation operations in the European skies, compared to last winter. Swedish BizAv trading firm Avinode, cites a single dominant reason for that – the series of sport and culture events held this summer in France.

The soccer UEFA EURO 2016 tournament has caused a very high demand for flights to the host cities. As a matter of fact, Marseille alone has had 2600 flight requests during the tournament’s opening days, a 100-fold increase compared to the same period in 2015. Of those requests, according to the Avinode’s data, approximately 40% were from Russia. “Looking at actual flights flown, there was an increase of 195% business jet flights to Marseille over the Championship’s opening weekend, compared to the same period 2015”.

גרף המציג את נחיתות מטוסי מנהלים במרסיי, מאי-יוני 2016

Besides soccer, other sports have also had wealthy fans flown in private flights: Tennis, with the French Open tournament (Roland-Garros) held late May-early June, and the Formula 1 Grand Prix races in Monaco. A slightly different competition was held during the famous film festival in Cannes.