Luton is the most popular UK airport for private jet charter for 2016-17. according to figures from Victor, the private jet charter provider. In the rankings (see below), Luton is over twice as popular as runner-up Biggin Hill – so far in 2017. Farnborough comes in third, and RAF Northolt is fourth. The figures show that Manchester and Exeter also showed significant growth in popularity.

Luton benefits from a reasonably long runway for private jets and, along with Stansted, is the only other airport which caters for private jet charter services on a 24-hour basis. There are two operators at Luton – Harrods Aviation and Signature Flight Support which has recently opened a brand new private terminal there (pictured).

In terms of the bigger picture, Victor’s latest research shows that the UK is the busiest European country for charter specifically, with 9,814 departures between January and March this year. France follows in second with 9,262 departures, Germany comes third with 8,160 departures and Switzerland is fourth with 6,153 departures.

UK private jet charter movements in the first quarter of 2017 were up 12.7 percent year-on-year. And across Europe, charter activity has risen (year-on-year) in nine of the 10 busiest countries for private aviation, with over 10 percent growth in the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy and Switzerland.

So far in 2017, 59.5 percent of all UK jet movements have been chartered, versus just 39 percent attributed to owned private aircraft.

“The economic climate remains unstable. As a result, Victor is seeing the shift away from jet ownership, which is costly and inflexible, towards transparent, on-demand, pay-as-you-go charter, which allows customers to fly when and how they want,” states Clive Jackson, CEO & Founder, Victor. “Luton Airport’s popularity with Victor’s high-profile leisure and business customers is testament to the high-quality service it offers 24 hours a day, seven days a week – it perfectly complements flexible on-demand jet charter. Other regional hubs are also growing quickly – we are seeing an increased number of HNWIs travelling from more local, convenient departure points for both business and pleasure.”

Victor’s top 15 most popular UK-related airports for private jet charter in Q1 2017**:

  • Luton (LTN)
  • Biggin Hill (BQH)
  • Farnborough (FAB)
  • RAF Northolt (NHT
  • Manchester (MAN)
  • Southampton (SOU)
  • Oxford (OXF)
  • Exeter (EXT)
  • Cambridge International (CBG)
  • Stansted (STN)
  • East Midlands (EMA)
  • Doncaster Sheffield (DSA)
  • Durham Tees Valley (MME)
  • Liverpool (LPL)
  • Edinburgh (EDI)

**list shows ‘top 15 most popular UK-related airports for Victor charter’ in Jan, Feb, Mar (to date) 2017 – flights involving either UK departure, arrival, or both.