Market activity in high-value business sectors such as investment banking is growing again, giving hope to business aviation operators, according to a new report.

Research sponsored by NetJets Europe from Oxford Economics indicates that despite several European nations continuing to suffer severe financial strictures, deal-making is once again on the increase.

Emily Williams, sales director at NetJets Europe, says that face-to-face contact remains essential to nurture and close deals - which is benefiting the business jet operator. Around 80% of NetJets' flights are booked by corporate customers.

"Recently, we have noticed an increase in our customers flying to emerging markets, such as Tunis and Tripoli, to close deals," says Williams. "In addition, around [the World Economic Forum in] Davos in January, we often experience high numbers of flights booked to seal deals around the event.

"Often this will also result in multi-hop flights, when our customers need to meet with multiple contacts across Europe, before anyone signs on the dotted line."

The research, which polled a sample of 100 European deal-makers from fields such as investment banking and corporate law, shows "cautious optimism" for prospects in 2011.

Source: Flight International