Charter Demand Still Soft, Say CharterX, Avinode

 - October 1, 2009, 1:08 PM

Executive charter activity is not recovering in line with the prevailing uptick on international stock markets, according to the latest data from online charter marketplace CharterX. While both the Wall Street-based S&P 500 Index and London’s FTSE 100 have made up for lost ground since March, the number of for-hire flights made has continued to dip or at best remain flat. Comparing last month with the year-ago period, light jet charter flight hours fell 23 percent to 13,978, while midsize jets were down 15 percent at 11,870 and the heavy category was 31 percent lower at just 7,156 hours, according to CharterX data compiled from ATC sources. Meanwhile, the latest charter demand index generated by online executive charter portal Avinode shows some improvement over the past 30 days, but with demand levels still down on the same period last year. As of October 1, the Avinode demand index stood at 69.16–13 percent up from September 1 but also 13 percent down on the same point last year. Last month saw modest fluctuations in demand at a time when business activity has historically picked up following the summer vacation season, Avinode said. Overall, charter pricing seems to have remained fairly stable over the last month, it added. Over the next seven days, availability of the charter fleet logged through Avinode ranged from 52 percent for October 1 to 73 percent on October 3 and then back down to 65 percent on October 7.