Aircraft Charter Demand Rises, Pricing Creeps Up

 - September 2, 2010, 12:19 PM

Forecast demand for executive charter flights has softened slightly for the second consecutive month, according to the latest data from online charter portal Avinode. As of August 31, the demand index produced by the Sweden-based group was 93.07, slightly more than 17 points down from where it had stood 30 days earlier. However, this was still almost 32 points above the 61.36 demand index recorded a year earlier. This suggests that 2010 continues to be a year of slow recovery for the private charter sector, which has experienced its usual dip in business travel during the peak summer months of July and August. The latest Avinode data also shows that charter prices are stabilizing. The August 31 price index of 97.40 was barely a quarter of one point above the level seen at the start of last month and barely more than two points above where it had been on the same day last year. Over the past month, average flight hour rates have been creeping up by between 3.5 and 5.6 percent–a slight improvement of market conditions. In North America, the August 31 rate for a Cessna Citation Excel increased to €2,498 ($3,197), while the rates for a Hawker 800 rose to €2,627 ($3,362) and for a Challenger 604 to €3,900 ($4,992). The pattern in international markets tracked by Avinode saw only slightly smaller increases, with the average rate for the Excel rising to €2,764 ($3,537) and those for the Hawker 800 and Challenger 604 reaching €3,399 ($4,350) and €4,803 ($6,147), respectively.