We continue to monitor the scheduled capacity from airlines around the world. This week’s update continues with the trend we’ve seen over the last few weeks – the airline industry is growing the number of seats week by week, but the recovery still doesn’t have traction. There are slight increases based on government-lifted restrictions, but it looks like the road toward recovery may be very very slow.

The size of the capacity for the current week (May 18-24) is 33.9 million seats – that is 2.5 million more than previous week: May 11-17 had is 31.4 million seats. This is an increase of 7.9%. With such a tempo the industry should recover in 15-16 weeks, but we have doubts this speed will stay for the next weeks as we noticed some airlines in South America fixed their schedules, causing a larger increase.

Airlines removed more seats for for the month of June, but the month still has a lot of optimism for capacity growth. We will see in next few weeks if this will become true.

We continue to monitor the data from the ch-aviation capacities module.

The largest market, Asia, shows some recovery. We see an 8.8% increase in scheduled seats for the current week compared to the previous week. The total market drop in Asia still remains relatively small. We now see the market is even more than half of the seats what it used to be. The main reason for this continues to be the Chinese domestic market.

Airlines in North America finally found the bottom level of required capacity. Last week’s capacity went below 6 million seats and is now back to 6 million. But the airlines do not expect fast recovery, and June is not seing fast growth in seats offered like in other regions (even it is a bit fake, read last week’s blog post to find out why).

Europe saw the largest jump of offered seats for this week. The week before we saw 3.8 million seats offered, while this week jumped by 19% to 4.4 million seats. While this is still only 17% of the capacity what we consider to be “normal” at this time of the year in Europe, if the pace will stay the same, we can see very rapid recovery in Europe going to summer-peak and government limitations lifted.

We can’t comment a lot on capacity in South America as we saw a few airlines fix their schedules (what was supposed to be an error last week). Still, the capacity offered in South America remains at very low levels with no clear path to recovery. The optimism jumps in the month of June, but we can’t be sure if this is airlines still not being able to update their schedules.

Reductions of capacity continues in Africa. But what is usually a less busy continent compared to South America now is more than twice its size in terms of air connectivity. We believe airlines still haven’t made June schedules right at the current point and we will see further reductions going forward.

“We cut too much for May, too litte in June” – that’s the message you hear from network planning teams in Oceania’s airlines. We see slight increases in seats offered for the current week and next week, but the airlines in this part of the world are the most pessimistic about recovery in June. We may see May’s level in June in this market. There’s an explanation, however – as winter begins in the southern hemisphere, it’s very difficult to show an upward trend in the low season.

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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