We continue to monitor scheduled capacity from airlines around the world. The industry continues its path to recovery as the number of seats increase slightly — but growth is not gaining any momentum yet.
The total number of seats scheduled for the current week is 40.2 million. This is up more than 10 million from the lowest point the industry reached in the beginning of May – 30.8 million. Still, the average growth rate for last few weeks is 3.6% a week, so the industry will not rise quickly without gaining momentum on different continents.
We continue to monitor the data from the ch-aviation capacities module.
Asia is the region for optimism, but the last 4 weeks of variation in capacity there shows the recovery is far from “V” shape. There are 22.9 million seats scheduled to depart in Asia this week – less than it was 4 weeks before. The market remains almost half the size what we consider to be “normal.”
Half of the seats in Asia currently are scheduled in China, which is driving all the region’s market growth. After the constant growth of domestic seats from China, this week we see a drop in scheduled capacity mainly due to new limitations introduced for flights from Beijing after number of COVID-19 cases increased.
Airlines in North America are growing capacity week by week. After the month of May, which remained almost flat with record-bottom numbers, now airlines changed their path and are adding more flights every week. The market now stands at 9.4 million scheduled seats.
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. With constant growth every week in June with more capacity added, we are curious how the development in July will look like. Europe is the most seasonal market in the world so July-August summer peak will show the market demand pattern.
The capacity trends in the three smaller regions (South America, Africa and Oceania) are similar – the bottom is found and, as of now, it stays there. Airlines in South America now have just 11% of seats scheduled compared to the middle of March. This region as of now is the most heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
Africa got a slight decrease in scheduled seats. The region is not showing any signs in traffic recovery based on scheduled capacity and still stays at low levels.
There is more recovery visible in Oceania, compared to other (relatively) small regions of Africa and South America. Airlines jumped over the half-million scheduled seats mark, mainly driven by domestic market recovery. 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.