The outlook for the private jet charter market in 2023
At the beginning of this year, the private jet rental market and the aircraft charter market in general are sending mixed signals as to what to expect in 2023 and what the trends will be in Europe, the US and the Middle East.
Last autumn, we predicted that demand for charter flights in Europe for the 2022 holiday season would be higher than previously forecast. Indeed, a few months earlier we had observed a decline that had taken hold over several consecutive months, from the beginning of September to the end of November. At that time, the European private jet rental market was down by more than 10%. Nevertheless, we maintained our forecast of sustained demand for December, at levels comparable to those of late 2021, which had been an excellent year. This prediction proved to be correct and demand over the year-end holiday period was just 1% lower than the previous year.
In Europe and the United States, rates rose sharply until the end of the summer of 2022, before declining in the autumn to reach new records at Christmas time. These fluctuations are a direct result of the demand pressure accompanied by a surge in fuel prices in July and August, when fuel prices reached record highs, exceeding the most impressive records of the last 15 years. It should be noted that the loss of value of the Euro against the US Dollar has accentuated this overbidding effect by 10 to 15%. For next summer, even if flight bookings are slow to come in, a very dynamic market is expected everywhere with prices peaking in the most popular months of the summer season.
Across the Atlantic, the decline in charter demand for domestic flights to the American continent in November and December 2022 was much more marked, and the year-end celebrations did not help to rebound the market dive. December was 26% lower than the previous year.
The beginning of 2023 is timid. Apart from the holiday rebound and the World Cup effect in Qatar, January and February continue the continuous decline that began last September. We remain optimistic, however, with a slowdown in the decline from February 2023. Indeed, in the face of a harsh winter in North America, the demand for private flights to the Caribbean zone remains robust.
On the main traditional axes, the demand remains stable from one year to the next, with the routes between the United States and the United Kingdom remaining the leading axis in terms of private aircraft traffic. However, the strongest growth in traffic is between France and North America.
In the longer term, we are attentive to changes in the price of raw materials, which may have a favourable impact on the development of the demand aircraft market. Indeed, an increase in prices will automatically lead to an increase in the price of air tickets, which will slow down the recovery of scheduled air transport by encouraging airlines to focus on the most profitable markets, thus leaving the field open to players in the demand air transport sector.