Aircraft Charter Market Awaits Summer Liftoff

 - July 5, 2011, 10:30 AM

The northern hemisphere’s busy summer period for private charter flights has yet to take off, but demand levels are already ahead of 2010 figures, according to the latest data from online charter portal Avinode. As of yesterday, the company’s forward-looking demand index stood at 146.47, more than four points down from a month earlier, but almost four points up on where it had stood exactly 12 months ago. Avinode’s price index showed a similar trend, with global demand for a 30-day period starting on July 4 at 98.29, almost three points up from last year, but very slightly down from last month. The company’s latest actual average flight-hour rates paid also show continued moderate instability in market conditions. In North America, rates for three sample aircraft types as of July 4 were down by between 4.5 and 6.1 percent from where they had been on June 4 and were also about the same degree lower than the rates recorded three months earlier. The average July 4 rates were as follows: Cessna Citation Excel, $3,283; Hawker 800, $3,492; and Challenger 604, $5,045. In international charter markets, rates for both the Hawker 800 and the Challenger 604 were down marginally–€3,002 ($4,322) and €4,729 ($6,809), respectively–but Citation Excel rates, at €2,804 ($4,037) per hour, were 3 percent higher than a month ago and up 6.8 percent from a year ago.