Charter Demand Dips, but Prices Hold Up

 - January 4, 2011, 12:15 PM

With the holidays now over, demand this month for private charter flights predictably decreased on a month-over-month basis. According to the latest forward-looking index from online charter portal Avinode, projected demand for the next 30 days stands at 91.90, half the level of 181.04 recorded on December 3. However, there was an early indicator of longer-term recovery in the charter market since this year’s index was in fact up more than 26 points from 12 months ago. The latest Avinode forecast also suggests that pricing levels are holding up better. The global pricing index currently stands at 97.37, up almost a point from a month ago and more than six points above last year. The price index for the European and U.S. markets increased from a year ago, to 95.43 and 97.80, respectively. However, current (versus projected) flight-hour rates did show some signs of softening in the North American market, where the average January rate for a Cessna Citation Excel was €2,352 ($3,128), slightly down on rates recorded one month and three months previously. Similarly average rates for a Hawker 800 and a Challenger 604 were also moderately down at €2,500 ($3,325) and €3,661 ($4,869). In the international marketplace, though, current average rates for these same types were slightly up at €2,737 ($3,640), €3,271 ($4,350) and €4,850 ($6,450), respectively.