The scale and value of anticipated charter bookings for the rest of January and into early next month has taken a predictable dip after the busy Christmas and New Year period.
On January 7, the forward-looking demand index produced by charter portal Avinode stood at 82.31. This is down significantly from the December 7 index, which stood at 385.28, reflecting the seasonally high demand for larger aircraft to be used for longer flights around the holiday period. By comparison, the demand index for Dec. 7, 2011, was at 307.20 and the index for Jan. 7, 2012, was 78.48, indicating that current market conditions look marginally better than those of 12 months ago.
The Avinode price index for the next 30 days shows greater stability, standing at 100.90 in Europe on January 7 and 100.52 in the U.S. market. This compares with 103.11/100.45 on December 7 and 102.58/98.82 on Jan. 7, 2012.
Meanwhile, average charter flight hour rates for three sample aircraft types as of December 31 showed slight decreases compared with three and six months earlier. For example, the average hourly charter rate for a Cessna Citation Excel in Europe was down 3.1 percent, compared with September 30, at €2,903. The same type in the U.S. market was 2.3 percent down over the same period at $3,443.