This is the fifth week in a row we are following the capacity trends globally to understand the shifts in capacity during the COVID-19 crisis. Again, we see another round of cuts made by the airlines to match dropping demand and react to government limitations.

We analysed the data from the ch-aviation capacities module.

The picture may look the same as the last few weeks but we noticed a few differences in capacity trends in the different regions.

Globally, the current week of April 13-19 is a third of the size (in terms of capacity) what was planned before the crisis reached Europe in the middle of March. Airlines believe the 32.9 million seats scheduled to depart this week are more than enough to fly everyone is willing (or is allowed) to fly.

But the picture is not so pessimistic everywhere. For the first time since this crisis hit, we see airlines scheduling more seats in Asia than they did a week before for the month of May.

This is a very small step toward recovery, but we see in the current week that airlines were more optimistic about the demand in Asia than they were exactly seven days ago. There is a slight increase in scheduled capacity for the every week of May.

But in the second-largest region of North America, last week featured the largest cuts, when airlines removed a lot of seats from scheduled capacity for the month of May. Our quick look the the month of June still shows a possible sign of recovery, but we believe this is more impacted by the fact that airlines were not able still to adopt June schedules for estimated demand in the new reality.

The speed of reductions were reduced (again) in Europe, but still airlines are reducing supply in the Old Continent. More and more airlines are entering the party of disbelief that traffic may return in the month of May. Still, the airline schedules are filled with optimism for May and we could expect further capacity cuts for this period.

We could say this week airlines in South America stayed with the same capacity figures they estimated to have a week ago. Every week got a very small cut of seats, and airlines are the most optimistic on the traffic recovery in May.

Africa is the fifth-busiest continent in terms of air travel, but that’s not the case for the next few weeks. The trend is similar to the one in South America, but we see the total number of seats cut is smaller in Africa, so currently the skies above Africa are busier.

Last week we saw airlines in Oceania were pessimistic about traffic recovery, but the picture of the current week is even worse. Airlines cut the capacity so significantly, the current’s week capacity is only 10.6% of the capacity scheduled before COVID-19 pandemic was spread worldwide.

We see airlines are changing schedules really fast. Our “Route News” (available for ch-aviation schedules subscribers) are updated every week to inform you about the recent changes in route cancellations.

We will continue to monitor the situation on capacities and will post on our blog. Follow us here and follow our #chaviationcovid19updates on Linkedin.

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