Revolutions Boost Charter Demand but Rates Fluctuate
Demand for private and executive charter showed signs of strengthening from the outset this month, perhaps buoyed by increased bookings for flights to evacuate people from North African and Middle Eastern countries where there has been violent political unrest. According to the latest forward-looking index from online charter portal Avinode, projected demand for the 30 days from March 1 stood at 110.56–20 points up on where it was on February 1, and almost 78 points ahead of the index 12 months earlier. The forward-looking price index also gave charter operators grounds for optimism. The March 1 indices for the whole world, for Europe and for the U.S. market were all slightly up on a month earlier at, respectively, 99.09, 96.55 and 99.62. However, the data for current (rather than projected) flight hour rates gave a mixed picture, with significant geographical variation. In North America, average rates for three selected aircraft types–Citation Excel, Hawker 800 and Challenger 604–were down modestly from a month and three months ago. But in the international marketplace rates for the same three aircraft increased on both last month’s figures and those three months ago by between €42 ($58) and €157 ($215).