Recent analysis from Avinode shows some interesting trends in the jet charter market for 2023. Avinode looked at data on jet charter prices, lead times for reserving an aircraft and also the use of older aircraft in the charter marketplace. They shared some graphs on these trends below.

Charter Pricing

The data from Avinode covers pricing in both Europe and the USA, with both of these markets showing a similar trend in 2023. Initially prices fell in the early part of the year, compared to the very elevated levels in 2022, but prices rose again towards the end of the year, and for the year as a whole the prices were fairly flat.

Looking at the chart below, you’ll see overall charter prices are significantly higher than the pre-pandemic levels of 2018 and 2019. There was a sharp drop as covid arrived in 2020, but a reasonably fast, solid recovery, rising to record levels in the later part of 2022. The European prices are the purple line below and the green line shows US prices. Avinode notes that the trend is the same across different aircraft types. Part of the rise at the year end is the normal seasonal holiday period peak in both markets and Europe usually sees a summer peak.

Avinode Charter Pricing Trends, 2023 EU and US

Harry Clarke, Head of Insight & Analytics, Avinode Group told SherpaReport “Our data on charter rates show that prices are essentially flat over 2023, despite the fluctuations in demand. In my opinion, this trend suggests a close relationship between charter prices and the underlying operational costs. Even during peaks in demand, many operators struggle to leverage higher rates, whether due to a surplus in supply meeting the demand or a deficiency in the tools and insights necessary for strategic price adjustments."

With the lower number of charter flights in 2023 (details in this earlier article), indicating lowered demand, it will be interesting to see how long pricing can stay at these higher levels. The charter market has two large sources of aircraft, the first is fleets owned by corporate entities owning and running charter aircraft as their main business. They clearly need to make a profit on the planes they make available for charter. The second is individual aircraft owners who use the planes themselves and then make their planes available to charter when they are not personally using them. These owners are looking to cover (some fixed and variable) costs when they make their planes available for charter. In other words, they are not looking to make an absolute year end profit, because their motivation for owning the plane is different to the fleet owners. The two different motivations can generate some pricing flexibility in the market.

Reservation Lead Times

In both Europe and the US, the timescale for planning trips and reserving aircraft returned to a more normal (pre-pandemic) level in 2023, as shown in the graph below. The lead times averaged around 25 days in 2023.

Avinode charter lead times

It is interesting to compare these average lead times to the guaranteed lead times in jet card and fractional programs. The averages above show that many people are planning their charter trips weeks in advance – which is what you would expect for both personal and business trips which are mostly planned out to coordinate with other activities. In comparison, large fractional programs guarantee to have aircraft available with just a few hours’ notice and jet card programs tend to have minimum notice periods in hours, albeit longer than for fractions. So if you are comparing charter, cards and fractions, really think about how long a notice period you uctually need and/or how often you need a very short notice reservation period – if at all.

Older Aircraft

The third interesting data point that Avinode analyzed is the use of older aircraft in the charter marketplace.

The graph below shows the number of charter requests that Avinode received for aircraft that are 25 years or older. 2021 saw a large increase in the number of requests for older aircraft and this increased again into 2022, as demand continued to rise. 2023 saw a drop, from the 2022 levels, but was still elevated compared to the pre-pandemic years.

Avinode older aircraft charter requests

All the data from the last few years shows elevated levels of use and demand across the whole private aviation sector during the pandemic, and this included charter, jet cards, fractional ownership or buying whole aircraft. The graph above is reinforcement of this, as it shows older aircraft being used more, driven by the overall elevated demand for lift.

The charts above came from Avinode Group which offers a fully connected suite of essential software to support Business Aviation professionals through the full supply chain of managing, sourcing, and booking aircraft.