Air Charter Demand, Prices Rise Slightly

 - January 5, 2012, 3:40 PM

Month-over-month, demand for charter flights looks set to flatten out in January, according to the latest projections from online charter portal Avinode. The group’s forward-looking demand index stood at 95.70, less than half of the pre-Christmas and New Year’s holiday spike of 221.62 seen a month earlier on December 3. However, the January 4 index was some 24 points above where it stood 12 months ago. In the global marketplace, Avinode’s January 4 price index stood at 100.02, which was almost unchanged from last month and moderately up from a year ago. Almost identical pricing projections were seen in the U.S. and European regions. Avinode’s data for actual average flight-hour rates was more encouraging for operators. As of January 4, three sample aircraft showed increases in hourly rates of between 1.5 and 4.7 percent above where they had been three months ago and between 2.2 and 11.3 percent above the rates seen six months prior. For example, a Cessna Citation Excel achieved an average flight-hour rate of $3,330 (€2,561) in the North American market on January 4, while in international markets the average for the same aircraft was $3,628 (€2,790).