London's Farnborough and Biggin Hill airports saw double-digit growth in 2018, despite uncertainty around Brexit and aviation.
Along with Luton, London's top three airports generated 73,000 private jet movements last year, compared with the 54,000 movements recorded in Paris Le Bourget, Europe's busiest airport for private jets.
Last year was the busiest year for Farnborough airport, famed for its annual air show, with a growth rate of 14.6 per cent, the most of any European airport in 2018. The growth has placed Farnborough neck-and-neck with Luton, which saw a 4.2 per cent reduction in private jet movements last year due the withdrawal of its 24-hour runway access during the summer.
Luton and Farnborough are in fourth place in Europe's league of the busiest private jet airports, according to industry data from WingX-Advance.
Meanwhile, Biggin Hill airport grew by nearly 12 per cent on 2017, thanks to extended hours and a £15m investment plan.
Adam Twidell, CEO of private jet booking platform PrivateFly, said: “While the implications of Brexit continue to be a big unknown in London's future, the capital's current importance at the centre of Europe's private jet industry is clear.
“When it comes to Europe's private jet cities, London continued to top the charts in 2018. Paris Le Bourget is the single busiest airport in Europe, but when you combine London's multiple airport gateways for private jets, it’s the top city in Europe by some distance. The capital's top three airports – Luton, Farnborough and Biggin Hill – generated a combined total of over 73,000 flight movements in 2018, versus 54,000 in Paris.
“As I said at the beginning of the year, these are challenging yet exciting times for business aviation. And it’s encouraging to see London playing such a pivotal role in the industry’s growth.”