We continue to monitor scheduled capacity from airlines around the world. The industry continues its path to recovery as the number of seats increase worldwide.

The total number of seats scheduled for the first week of June is 37 million. That is 2.1 million more than the week before. The average growth rate for the last four weeks now stands at 4.7%, but the path is bumpy, with varied paces each week and on different continents.

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

Still, the graph of capacity scheduled for the week (as compiled just before each week starts) shows the industry being way less than a half of what it was before the COVID-19 crisis reached the western world:

When we try to predict what will happen in Europe or North America, we need to look to Asia – the region with the tendency to be few weeks ahead of the rest of the world. Last week we noticed a slight decrease in the number of seats schedued, but this week we see this may be just a slight short-term bump. There are more than 24 million seats scheduled in Asia for this week – the market is now more than half of the size what we consider to be “normal.” Still, the question of what is the “new normal” remains unanswered.

Half of the seats in Asia currently are scheduled in China, which is driving all the region’s market growth. We see some developments on international routes from China too as this remains a very small market – this week there are 182,000 international seats scheduled to depart China.

Airlines in North America have finally made a jump in scheduled capacity. May remained almost flat with record-bottom numbers while the first week of June saw a 23% jump in scheduled capacity compared to the last week of May. If the scheduled weekly capacity varied around the 6-million mark for all the month of May, June started with 7.5 million seats scheduled to the depart in the first week. Airlines as of June 1 had another increase of 1 million seats for the second week of June, but we will see if this capacity will stay.

In Europe, we noticed a few times in our previous analysis that the airlines were too optimistic for the month of June. Airlines waited for the last minute to remove flights from their schedules for June and now we see quite a significant drop. One of the airlines being Ryanair, which removed 99% of its flying in June. When looking forward, we see quite significant increases of scheduled capacity for the second part of June – this again shows an optimism of airlines’ belief of returning demand immediately after governmental restrictions are lifted.

The capacity trends in the three smaller regions (South America, Africa and Oceania) are very similar – the bottom is found, but as of now, it stays there. Airlines are still not growing the scheduled capacity or are doing so really slowly. The capacity in South America went slightly down compared to the previous week. There are 572,000 seats scheduled to the depart the continent when the “normal” level would be 10 times higher.

Similar to South America, Africa also got a very slight decrease in scheduled seats. Still, the total drop from “normal” levels are relatively smaller in this region – the industry stays at 20% of the scheduled capacity.

There is a very small pace of growth in Oceania. Airlines has 438,000 seats scheduled for the current week. Our outlook for the future shows that airlines also do not plan growth for further weeks – half a million seats is most likely the maximum of what this region can get in June. Compared to the summer peak kicking in Europe and North America, winter just started in this part of the world, making recovery even more difficult.

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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