Europe's purchase expectations were up slightly this year, at 33 percent and are roughly in line with levels in the previous two surveys. The European share of estimated global five-year demand rose by one point to 18 percent in the 2012 survey. Much of the apparent resilience shown by local operators in the face of eroding economic conditions is actually just the result of geographical definition. Russia, with strong local purchasing ambitions, is included in this region, as are the central and Eastern European states, which are generally more economically robust.
Ancillary data from the Western European portion of the region conjure an environment of slowing activity and demand, strongly influenced by complex problems such as higher unemployment, high government debt and negligible growth.
A comparison of the planned timing for purchases between the past two surveys also shows a shift toward the latter portion of the five-year window.
"We continue to see underlying macro-trends that support potential demand for business jets, making the industry's long-term prospects attractive," Wilson said. "Other factors we believe will help accelerate global business aviation growth are long overdue structural and regulatory reforms, which have the potential to unlock significant spending power that would propel aviation expansion," he said. "Product development, in the form of aircraft with higher productive potential, or even air traffic control systems with higher capacity and efficiency also create new markets and should continue to support expanded use of business aircraft as a key tool in the global economy."FLIGHT ACTIVITY Shifting from jet purchases to flight activity, over the course of the past year, the pace of recovery has effectively paused on several fronts. This leaves much of the ground lost by operations during the 2009 recession still to be recaptured. A full recovery remains several years away at current and near-term projected rates of flight activity.