Despite some modest improvement last month, demand in the North American executive charter market is still relatively soft, according to the latest data from Web-based portal Avinode. On behalf of NBAA Convention News, the company tracked charter rates for three types of aircraft over the past 18 months, and the results show that, in all three cases, average flight hour rates have fallen since March 2008 and even more so since September 2008, just ahead of the last NBAA Convention.
For a Hawker Beechcraft Hawker 800XP the average price last month was $3,331–almost 11 percent down on the September 2008 average of $3,738. Over the same period, the price for an hour in a Bombardier Learjet 60 fell by just over 12 percent from $3,517 to $3,075. For a Gulfstream GIV, the fall was less severe at almost 7 percent but the average price still dipped from $6,217 to $5,786.
As of Oct. 1, 2009, the Avinode demand index stood at 69.16–13 percent up on one month earlier but also 13 percent down on Oct. 1, 2008. September saw modest fluctuations in demand at a time when business activity has historically picked up following the summer vacation season.
Overall, charter pricing seems to have remained fairly stable during September. Avinode’s pricing index stood at 93.15 on October 1, with an average hourly price of ?2,796.58 being just a marginal fall on the 93.73 index on September 1 and an average price of ?2,819.88.
The Avinode demand index indicates the average daily order value for flights requested through its system for the following 30 days. The price index reflects average price per flight hour.
During the course of last month, flight-hour prices (in Euros) for some other specific aircraft types showed very slight increases across the board. For example, the average rate for a Cessna Citation Excel in the U.S. on October 1 was ?2,153.30 and in the non-North American market it was ?2,907.80. The average October 1 price for a Hawker 800 in the U.S. was ?2,251.60, while outside the U.S. the rate was ?3,350.40. Similarly, a Bombardier Challenger 604 was priced at ?3,346.40 in the U.S. and ?4,479.50 in the rest of the world.
Over the past decade, the online charter booking portal developed by Avinode (Booth No. 4438) has become a major marketplace for charter operators and their customers. Avinode.com is now used by 900 companies with access to 2,600 aircraft.