Charter Demand Climbs but Prices Fluctuate
Despite charter flight demand continuing to rise over the past month, flight-hour rates have softened. According to the latest forward-looking index from online charter portal Avinode, projected demand for the 30 days beginning April 4 stood at 123.74–more than eight percentage points higher than a month ago and some 43 points above the index 12 months earlier. The forward-looking price index showed slight increases in projected charter rates for the coming 30 days. In Europe, the index was up by a few points on both a month ago and three months ago, standing at 97.55. For the U.S. market the index also climbed slightly, to 100.28, as did the global index, to 99.28. However, statistics for actual average flight-hour rates tell a different story. In North America, average rates for three selected aircraft types were down both on a month ago and on three months earlier by between 2.6 and 5.9 percent. The April 4 rate for a Cessna Citation Excel in North America was $3,200, while those for a Hawker 800 and a Challenger 604 were $3,436 and $4,995, respectively. In international markets, the average rate for the Excel also fell slightly to €2,703 ($3,811), but the Hawker and Challenger rates increased by very slender margins to €3,060 ($4,315) and €4,732 ($6,672), respectively.