Air Charter Demand Trending Up, but Pricing Mixed

 - March 6, 2012, 6:00 PM

Demand for charter flights appears to be continuing its upward trend this month, but the prognosis for charter hourly rates is less encouraging on the whole. Online charter portal Avinode says its March 1 demand index is 141.15–23 points higher than last month and 30 points above a year ago.

However, the forward-looking price index for March is down globally by around 1.5 points from both a month ago and a year ago. In the North American market, the price index fell 2.1 points last month and 3.6 points year-over-year. But in Europe, the fall since early February was marginal and is actually 5.6 points above the year-ago figure.

Avinode’s snapshot of actual flight hour rates paid in recent months shows a more mixed picture. In North America, the average rate on February 29 for a Bombardier Challenger 604 stood at $4,867, about 1 percent and 7.5 percent higher than three and six months earlier, respectively. In international markets, the same aircraft had an average rate of €4,770 ($6,249)–nearly 3 percent below the figure in late November, but almost 4 percent up from late August.