Archive:Air transport services statistics - NACE Rev. 2
- Data from October 2015. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database.
This article presents an overview of statistics for air transport services in the European Union (EU), as covered by NACE Rev. 2 Division 51. It article belongs to a set of statistical articles on 'Business economy by sector'.
Main statistical findings
There were 4.1 thousand enterprises operating within the air transport services sector (Division 51) in the EU-28 in 2012. Together they employed 365.5 thousand persons, equivalent to 0.3 % of the non-financial business economy (Sections B to J and L to N and Division 95) workforce or 3.5 % of the total number of persons employed in transportation and storage services (Section H). EU-28 air transport services generated EUR 26.2 billion of value added in 2012, which was 0.4 % of the non-financial business economy total and 5.4 % of the transportation and storage services total.
The apparent labour productivity of the EU-28’s air transport services sector in 2012 was EUR 72.0 thousand per person employed, which was considerably higher than either the non-financial business economy average (EUR 46.2 thousand per person employed) or the transportation and storage services average (EUR 46.0 thousand per person employed). Although apparent labour productivity was relatively high, the EU-28’s air transport services sector had even higher average personnel costs, which rose to EUR 67.9 thousand per employee in 2012. These high average personnel costs were more than twice the non-financial business economy average (EUR 32.4 thousand per employee) and ranked third highest across the NACE divisions that compose the non-financial business economy. The high level of average personnel costs impacted upon the wage-adjusted labour productivity ratio which combines the two previous indicators and shows the extent to which value added per person employed covers average personnel costs per employee. This ratio was 106.0 % for the EU-28’s air transport services sector in 2012 which was considerably lower than the non-financial business economy average of 142.7 %; indeed, it ranked among the 5 lowest wage-adjusted labour productivity ratios in 2012 recorded by any of the non-financial business economy NACE divisions.
The gross operating rate measures the relation between the gross operating surplus and turnover and is one measure of operating profitability; it stood at 1.2 % for the EU-28’s air transport services sector in 2012. This was the lowest value recorded for this rate among any of the NACE divisions within the non-financial business economy.
The air transport services sector is divided within NACE into passenger air transport (Group 51.1) on the one hand, and freight air transport and space transport (Group 51.2) on the other. By far the largest of these two subsectors — no matter which measure of size is used — was the passenger air transport subsector. It accounted for 90.7 % of sectoral value added in the EU-28’s air transport services sector in 2012 and 94.4 % of its workforce. There were approximately six times as many passenger air transport enterprises as there were freight and space transport enterprises (2011 data).
The apparent labour productivity of the EU-28’s passenger air transport subsector was EUR 69.0 thousand per person employed in 2012, while that for freight air transport and space transport was considerably higher, at EUR 119.0 thousand per person employed. Average personnel costs were somewhat closer, but again the freight air transport and space transport subsector reported a higher level (EUR 76.6 thousand per employee) when compared with average personnel costs for passenger air transport (EUR 67.4 thousand per employee). The resulting wage-adjusted labour productivity ratio (which combines the results of the first two indicators) was 155.0 % for the freight air transport and space transport subsector, slightly above the non-financial business economy average (142.7 %), whereas the ratio for the passenger air transport subsector (102.0 %) was considerably lower. Indeed, it was the lowest wage-adjusted labour productivity ratio in 2012 among any of the transportation and storage services NACE groups and it ranked among the 10 NACE groups with the lowest wage-adjusted labour productivity ratios within the non-financial business economy.
The gross operating rate for the EU-28’s passenger air transport subsector was 0.6 %, which was the second lowest value across all of the NACE groups within the non-financial business economy in 2012 and the lowest among all transportation and storage services NACE groups. The gross operating rate for the freight air transport and space transport subsector was more than ten times as high, at 6.5 %, but remained well below the non-financial business economy average (9.4 %).
Compared with many activities, the air transport services sector remains relatively concentrated within a few of the EU Member States, reflecting the distribution and economic performance of Europe’s main airlines and those airports that serve as hubs between inter-continental, international and domestic services. Nevertheless, since the early 1990s there has been a significant shift in the make-up of the air transport services sector within the EU, away from a model that was dominated by large, national carriers that often had a monopoly. With deregulation, market entry (principally from low-cost carriers) increased offer of the routes available to consumers and led to downward price pressure. Furthermore, the air transport services sector in the EU-28 witnessed an expansion in passenger numbers.
The United Kingdom had the highest share (25.1 %) of EU-28 value added for the passenger air transport subsector in 2012, while France also accounted for a relatively high share (22.6 %); Spain (7.1 %) and Ireland (6.5 %) were the only other Member States (for which data are available) to record a share that was higher than 5 %. For the freight air transport and space transport subsector, Germany recorded the highest share (35.5 %) of EU-28 value added in 2012, followed by the United Kingdom (14.4 %). Ireland’s 6.0 % share of EU-28 value added in the air transport sector was its third largest share in 2012 among the non-financial business economy NACE divisions.
While the air transport services sector was dominated by the larger EU Member States, there were relatively high degrees of specialisation in a limited number of other countries. For example, Ireland reported that the contribution of its air transport sector to non-financial business economy added value in 2012 was 1.8 %, which was 4.2 times as high as the EU-28 average. Portugal (1.3 % of non-financial business economy value added in air transport) was the next most specialised Member State, followed by the Netherlands, Denmark, France and the United Kingdom.
Ireland’s specialisation in the air transport sector was a result of its high specialisation for passenger air transport. Within the freight air transport and space transport subsector, Bulgaria and Germany were the most specialised countries (among those for which data are available) and the only ones where this activity contributed more to the national non-financial business economy total than the average across the whole of the EU-28.
As noted, the economic performance and profitability of the EU-28’s air transport services sector (as measured by the wage-adjusted labour productivity ratio and the gross operating rate) was relatively weak. Nine of the 23 Member States for which data are available reported wage-adjusted labour productivity ratios below 100 % in 2012 (latest data is for 2011 for France and Croatia). France and Germany were among those Member States where average personnel costs were not covered by apparent labour productivity, while in Estonia the air transport services sector recorded a negative wage-adjusted labour productivity ratio due to negative value added generated in the sector.
The highest gross operating rate for air transport services was registered in Poland, at 16.6 % in 2012, which together with Belgium (13.6 %) were the only EU Member States to record double-digit rates. Indeed, there were only 16 Member States out of 23 for which data are available that reported positive gross operating rates in 2012; the remaining seven had negative values for this measure of operating profitability, indicating that total personnel costs exceeded value added, leading to a negative gross operating surplus and therefore a negative gross operating rate.
Size class analysis
The enterprise size structure of the EU-28’s air transport services sector is almost completely dominated by large enterprises (employing 250 or more persons). Large enterprises classified to the air transport services sector (118 enterprises in 2011) provided in 2012 approximately 80.3 % of total value added and employed 89.4 % of its workforce. The employment share of large enterprises within the air transport services sector was the fourth highest share in 2012 among all of the non-financial business economy NACE divisions; for comparison, the non-financial business economy average for large enterprise was a 33.0 % share of the total workforce.
In Lithuania and Slovakia there were no large enterprises in the air transport services sector. These exceptions apart, in 2012 large enterprises employed at least half of the air transport services workforce in the other nine EU Member States for which data are available; however, incomplete data for Bulgaria show that large enterprises employed less than half the air transport workforce. A broadly similar structure could be observed in value added terms, although there are two countries — Bulgaria and Germany — where more than half of sectoral value added was created by medium-sized enterprises.
Data sources and availability
The analysis presented in this article is based on the main dataset for structural business statistics (SBS) and size class data, all of which are published annually.
The main series provides information for each EU Member State as well as a number of non-member countries at a detailed level according to the activity classification NACE. Data are available for a wide range of variables.
In structural business statistics, size classes are generally defined by the number of persons employed. A limited set of the standard structural business statistics variables (for example, the number of enterprises, turnover, persons employed and value added) are analysed by size class, mostly down to the three-digit (group) level of NACE. The main size classes used in this article for presenting the results are:
- small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs): with 1 to 249 persons employed, further divided into;
- micro enterprises: with less than 10 persons employed;
- small enterprises: with 10 to 49 persons employed;
- medium-sized enterprises: with 50 to 249 persons employed;
- large enterprises: with 250 or more persons employed.
This article presents an overview of statistics for the air transport services sector in the EU, as covered by NACE Rev. 2 Division 51. This division includes transport services by air or via space; it excludes own account transport. For air transport, a distinction is made between the transport of passengers and freight transport. Included are scheduled and non-scheduled (charter) flights, as well as scenic and sightseeing flights. Also included are general aviation activities such as transport of passengers by aero clubs for instruction or pleasure. Space transport includes the launching of satellites and space vehicles and space transport of freight and passengers.
This NACE division is composed of two groups:
- passenger air transport (Group 51.1);
- freight air transport and space transport (Group 51.2).
The following activities are excluded from the statistics presented in this article: crop spraying (which is part of Division 01, crop and animal production, hunting and related service activities — which does not form part of the non-financial business economy), the operation of airports (part of Division 52, warehousing and support activities for transportation) and the renting of air transport equipment without an operator (part of Division 77, the renting and leasing of goods).
- Other analyses of the business economy by NACE Rev. 2 sector
- Structural business statistics introduced
- Transportation and storage
Further Eurostat information
- European business - facts and figures (online publication)
- Key figures on European Business – with a special feature section on SMEs – 2011 edition
- SBS – services (serv)
- Annual detailed enterprise statistics - services (sbs_na_serv)
- Annual detailed enterprise statistics for services (NACE Rev. 2 H-N and S95) (sbs_na_1a_se_r2)
- SMEs - Annual enterprise statistics by size classes - services (sbs_sc_sc)
- Services by employment size classes (NACE Rev. 2 H-N and S95) (sbs_sc_1b_se_r2)
- Annual detailed enterprise statistics - services (sbs_na_serv)
- SBS - regional data - all activities (sbs_r)
- SBS data by NUTS 2 regions and NACE Rev. 2 (from 2008 onwards) (sbs_r_nuts06_r2)
Source data for tables and figures (MS Excel)
- Decision 1578/2007/EC of 11 December 2007 on the Community Statistical Programme 2008 to 2012
- Regulation (EC) 295/2008 of 11 March 2008 concerning structural business statistics