Facts & Figures

Business Aviation Facts

Discrete but essential, business aviation is a central part of the key success factors that ensure the global success of Switzerland. This business must stay attractive in order to guarantee and expand its usage for international organisations, diplomats, major Swiss corporations and worldwide multinationals.

Business aviation is first and foremost a working tool. It serves and supports the mission of international businessmen, diplomats, UN officials, entrepreneurs and medical repatriation. It creates a lot of jobs, directly – with its own employees or contractors, and indirectly – enabling large employers to stay and prosper in Switzerland.

The importance of business aviation for Switzerland’s prosperity is regularly demonstrated in independent scientific studies, both qualitative and quantitative. Below are some important facts from the Business Aviation Study Switzerland 2022, conducted by Logistic Advisory Expert Ltd., a spin-off company of the University of St. Gallen and published by the scientific publisher Cuvillier Verlag

In Numbers:

Benefits for Switzerland

  • 34’100 direct and indirect jobs
  • More than 15 billion CHF annual economic output
  • 35 x Swiss airports are served only by BizAv
  • Geneva and Zurich among the Top4 busiest BizAv airports in Europe in 2021
  • NB: All those numbers are pre-COVID-19 level and are higher or stable in 2023.

Benefits for clients

  • 88% of the Top 50 of Forbes Global 2000 leading companies are business aircraft users
  • 90% of all Swiss Biz Av routes are almost impossible to reach directly by scheduled flight
  • 150% increase in passenger/employee productivity by using BizAv

High-Level Summary of Business Aviation Benefits

Economic and Social Benefits

  • Direct, indirect and induced effects from economic activity of the sector create jobs, income and economic activity
  • Potential cost savings on overnight accommodations as users may return home at any time instead of being forced to stay overnight in their destinations
  • The ability to make more effective use of travelling time in a more private and comfortable environment; for example holding meetings, reading confidential documents and offering hospitality to clients. For leisure travelers, increased comfort provides for increased relaxation and allows users to be more productive when returning to work
  • Perceived advantages in terms of greater security for staff and high-value goods; for example from terrorism or concerns over lower air safety standards in some countries

Business Efficiencies

  • Reduced access time to and from Business Aviation airports as compared to large commercial ones (such as Paris, London, or Moscow) as Business Aviation airports tend to be closer to city centers
  • The ability to cover multiple business destinations much more quickly with aircraft available to fly whenever the user is ready to depart, as opposed to waiting for commercial departures and limiting the ability to travel to multiple destinations in one day
  • Faster travel from origin to destination given the flexibility and convenience of instantly accessible point-to-point air links that avoid the need for connections
  • Major time savings to business users from avoiding congested major commercial passenger airports and taking off from small, less busy Business Aviation airports
  • Time savings from Business Aviation flights being less susceptible to strikes and other disruptions affecting commercial airlines

Improved Connectivity

  • The ability to travel directly to areas not well served by commercial airlines, that is, providing connectivity for business travelers to the global aviation network
  • The ability to provide emergency medical and air ambulance services to communities and regions where hospitals and treatment centers are not available
  • Provision of access to the international air network of remote and rural regions, where commercial air traffic is not viable

Source: EBAA, Economic Impacts of Business Aviation in Europe, Booz Allen & Hamilton (2015), with a Geneva focus (Sept. 2017).

Switzerland Country Profile

Economic Impacts:

Although Switzerland accounts for only 8.2 million people (about 1.5% of Europe’s population), it is a major player in European Business Aviation. It accounts for 4.8% of the Business Aviation GVA and € 3,746,706 (3.8%) of its total output, where GVA represents monetary worth of the production and services generated by firms in the sector measured as the sector’s output at basic prices minus intermediate consumption (input) at purchaser prices.

With nearly 6500 Business-Aviation employees, direct employment in the Business Aviation industry is the 4th highest in Europe and the total employment effects, including indirect and induced effects, amount to 17,301 jobs, the 5th highest value in Europe.

Switzerland operates a fleet of 194 helicopters and 246 fixed-wing aircraft (2015). When direct impact (1’585’924 K) are cumulated with indirect impacts (1’601’179 K), total economic impact of the Swiss BizAv sector amounts to 3’746’706’000, slightly below the 3.75 billion range.

Main Airports and Players:

Geneve Cointrin is the largest Business Aviation airport in the country with 46 departures per day. Zurich is the largest international airport of Switzerland and second-largest Business Aviation Airport, serving 29 average daily departures. The third most important airport is Basel with 10 average departures. The aircraft manufacturer Pilatus is a key provider of secure jobs in the country and a major player in the Business Aviation industry around the world.

Time Savings:

When discussing the time-savings in Switzerland, the reasons for the prominent role of Business Aviation in the country become obvious: As shown in Figure 13, large time savings are seen throughout the interior of the country. These are regions in the Alps that require train travel to Zurich, Basel, or Geneva when traveling on commercial aircraft. Business Aviation may utilize smaller airfields in the Alps, reflected in the larger time savings in these regions.


Source: EBAA, Economic Impacts of Business Aviation in Europe, Booz Allen & Hamilton (2015), with a Geneva focus (Sept. 2017).