Charter Demand Still Climbing, but Prices Remain Flat

 - April 10, 2012, 4:00 PM

Demand for charter flights appears to be climbing again, though charter hourly rates continue to be flat. Online charter portal Avinode says its April 1 demand index was 126.14–some 22 points higher than a year ago and about three points higher than last month.

At 98.1, though, the forward-looking price index for April was little changed from both last year and March 1. Charter pricing in the North American market dropped by two points from a year ago, while in Europe pricing solidified, rising about five points since April 2011.

Avinode’s snapshot of actual flight hour rates paid in recent months for its example large-cabin business jet shows a much different picture. In North America, the average rate on April 1 for a Bombardier Challenger 604 stood at $5,256 an hour, up 8 percent from a month ago and up about 3 percent from last year. In international markets, charter pricing for the same aircraft also increased by the same month-over-month and year-over-year percentages, to €4,912 ($6,753) per hour.