Our latest analysis of active aircraft around the world shows another small sign of recovery in the airline industry.

We see that 57% of airline fleets globally remain grounded. This is 2% less than what we saw two weeks ago, when, on April 24, we wrote that 59% of airline fleets were grounded. As of now, ch-aviation fleets advanced data shows 18,496 aircraft are grounded for storage or maintenance. This means airlines moved 500 aircraft back into active status during last few weeks. Still, 57% is more than the 55% we saw in the beginning of April.

At least, there’s a trend of recovery instead of further groundings.

This grounded aircraft analysis is in line with the capacity analysis from last week, where we saw the scheduled supply of airline seats reaching the bottom as airlines prepared for recovery.

The number of aircraft grounded does not fully represent the full picture as many airlines reduce utilisation to a minimum to avoid storing aircraft. We expect in further months we will see utilisation drops for aircraft (ch-aviation fleets advanced data also includes utilisation data).

The latest update shows three regions have the highest percentage of grounded fleets: Africa, Europe and South America have more than 70% of total aircraft grounded.

At the same time, airlines in North America still continue to ground the aircraft, but the jump of percentage is not as big as we saw two weeks ago (grounded fleets went up from 39% to 47% in 14 days). Now we see airlines in North America have 49% of the fleets grounded.

Active Total %, grounded
Africa 429 1,547 72%
Asia 5,674 10,849 48%
Europe 2,162 7,953 73%
North America 5,061 9,827 49%
Oceania 398 948 58%
South America 372 1,400 73%

The main driver of the growing number of active aircraft in Asia is the China market. This country has a fast-paced, strong path toward recovery. We can now conclude that airlines in China never had the same high level of groundings as in other parts of the world. In February, we saw more than 29% of the fleet grounded by Chinese airlines, in the end of April this number stayed at 25%, and now we see only 1/5 of the fleet is still not active in China.

Active Total %, grounded
United States of America 4,481 8,107 45%
China 3,134 3,925 20%
Russian Federation 557 1,168 52%
Canada 370 1,029 64%
United Kingdom 222 899 75%
India 183 844 78%
Japan 496 720 31%
Germany 222 703 68%
Australia 280 676 59%
Indonesia 147 641 77%

The top 10 largest markets have significant gaps in the percentage of grounded fleets. China has 20% of the fleets grounded, while airlines in United Kingdom or India have more than 3/4 of the fleets grounded.

In North America we see the United States grounded 100 more aircraft than two weeks ago, while grounded aircraft in Canada grew by 20 units.

We use ch-aviation fleets advanced data for this analysis. Our fleet team works to deliver the latest updates on airline commercial fleets globally.

After eight weeks of constant capacity reductions, we’re seeing some signs this may be the bottom and that we are at the lowest point of current scheduled capacity levels. Airlines continue to remove capacity from the last weeks of May and further months, showing reduced optimism for a fast return of demand. But the size of capacity in the current week is not going down any more.

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

The size of the capacity for the current week (May 4-10) is 30.9 million seats. Compared to the airlines’ published schedules in the middle of March, before COVID-19 spread worldwide, it is 29% of the size; airlines expected the global weekly demand will be 105 million seats in the middle of May.

The optimism comes from the fact that capacity for the current week has stayed at similar levels for last four weeks –32.9 million to 31.2 million to 32.6 million to 30.9 million. We do not see the cuts we saw when the crisis hit, which prompted airlines to remove tens of millions of seats every week.

Still, the pessimism spreads to further weeks, and airlines do not see a fast recovery.

In Asia, the scheduled capacity is not reduced any more and the scheduled number of seats for the current week is slightly bigger than week before. We saw 18.9 million seats scheduled for the last week and the current week has 19.5 million seats scheduled. Still, this is less than half of the seats scheduled in the middle of March, but the largest continent in terms of aviation market size shows the first signs of possible recovery.

The main source of the optimism in Asia is China’s domestic market.

We see the scheduled domestic capacity in China is more than 10 million seats for the current week (March 4-10) This is the first time since COVID-19 hit China that airlines scheduled more than 10 million seats for the domestic flights. Airlines stay even more optimistic for the upcoming weeks and see demand growth in the end of May and for the month of June.

Our grounded fleets analysis in the ch-aviaton fleets advanced module also shows China is the country with the smallest percentage of grounded aircraft — 25% of aircraft are now grounded in China, while the world‘s average is 58%.

Airlines in North America are still searching the bottom levels of demand with no optimism for any recovery in May. The current week has only 6 million seats scheduled for flights from North America – that’s only 22% of the market estimated two months ago. Airlines continue to update their schedules, so we expect further changes in this region.

Europe is another continent where we possibly see the bottom has been reached and airlines are turning to recovery. We see that a few airlines resumed part of their services in the beginning of May. Still, the road to the recovery will be slow and painful, but the capacity levels are not being reduced anymore. The current week has the capacity of 3.5 million seats, while we saw 2.5 million seats scheduled two weeks ago. Yet this is only 13% of the market size we considered to be “normal” before COVID-19 hit the continent.

The picture is similar in South America. The current week has 12% of the “normal” capacity scheduled, and the continent has the flattest curve for the remaining weeks of May. Still, the current week’s capacity is not going down anymore, so we could see this is the bottom of the scheduled capacity levels in the continent.

In Africa, airlines are still looking for the bottom and the situation remains dynamic. The market size in Africa is less than 1 million seats now and still continues to decline week after week.

The most pessimistic region remains Oceania, where airlines have almost zero expectations of any traffic recovery in the month of May. Also, with this week’s update, we see almost no change in airlines’ scheduled capacity. We understand the airlines have reached the bottom-peak level and are waiting for better times.

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

Our latest analysis shows that 59% of the total airline fleets around the world are now grounded. Based on data from ch-aviation’s fleets advanced data, 19,068 aircraft are now parked for storage or maintenance globally.

Compared to a ch-aviation analysis done two weeks earlier, the number of grounded aircraft has increased from 55% to 59%, or by more than 1,000. Still, this does not fully reflect the situation in the industry as many airlines have reduced utilisation to a minimum to avoid storing aircraft.

The highest proportion of grounded aircraft is now in Europe, where airlines increased the number to 75%. Asia now has fewer aircraft grounded than two weeks earlier (50% vs 52%), but North America has increased its grounded fleet from 39% to 47%. Still, this is not reflected in the level of operations. Utilisation is not taken into consideration, and it makes Southwest Airlines the largest airline in the world now by active fleet numbers.

Active Total %, grounded
Africa 412 1,545 73%
Asia 5,386 10,850 50%
Europe 1,967 6,040 75%
North America 5,247 9,981 47%
Oceania 298 950 69%
South America 378 1,402 73%

The most popular narrow-body types are not grounded equally. We see 69% of Airbus A320-200s grounded, while B737-700 and A320-200N are relatively more used.

Active Total %, grounded
B737-800 1,966 4,841 59%
A320-200 1,268 4,144 69%
A321-200 558 1,611 65%
A319-100 443 1,217 64%
B737-700 586 987 41%
A320-200N 401 940 41%

Among the most popular widebodies, the A330 is the most-grounded aircraft, though the A380 has the highest proportion of grounded aircraft with just four units active and 234 grounded.

Active Total %, grounded
B777-300(ER) 335 808 59%
A330-300 194 868 72%
B787-9 231 536 57%
A330-200 97 490 80%
B787-8 97 365 73%
B767-300(ER) 92 347 73%

Important to mention that long-haul freighters are not impacted by the groundings. 181 B777-200Fs are flying (98% of total) and 165 of 767-300Fs are also active (95% of total). We see articles about passenger jets being used for belly freight capacity only, but we see this does not have any material impact on aircraft remaining active.

When we looked at aircraft groundings in the largest markets, we see quite significant gaps. 80% of all aircraft are grounded in India while in China now only 25% of total fleets are stored. This is a slight reduction compared to February, when we saw more than 29% of the fleet grounded by Chinese airlines.

Active Total %, grounded
United States of America 4,612 8,195 44%
China 2,934 3,920 25%
Russian Federation 496 1,170 58%
Canada 392 1,043 62%
United Kingdom 199 911 78%
India 172 842 80%

We use ch-aviation fleets advanced data for this analysis. Our fleet team works to deliver the latest updates on airline commercial fleets globally.

After the sixth week of monitoring global airline capacities, we see the scheduled total seats continuing to decline. Airlines are still grounding aircraft and the global capacity is being cut each week.

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

The world’s scheduled capacity is now smaller than one-third the size it was expected before COVID-19 crisis. We see the large drop of scheduled capacity for the first week of May as most airlines understand now that traffic will not return after the symbolic date of May 1.

But for the second week in a row, we do not see any more capacity cut in Asia for the month of May. The capacity may even be slightly increased in terms of seats scheduled to depart Asia.

We looked more what’s causing this optimism and the answer is clear: China‘s domestic market. Airlines further increased the number of seats scheduled in China and now in May airlines have more than 14 million domestic seats scheduled domestically.

After being the first country hit by COVID-19, it looks like China is now on a very strong, fast-paced road to the recovery.

Our grounded fleets analysis in the ch-aviaton fleets advanced module also shows China is the country with the smallest percentage of grounded aircraft — 25% of aircraft are now grounded in China, while the world‘s average is 58%.

The airlines in North America have no optimism for any recovery in May.

Airlines in Europe are still more optimistic with the traffic return during the second part of May.

Airlines in South America have even more optimism than European airlines with the possible traffic recovery in May. But all the plans are subject to change these days.

Africa is still a larger market than South America these days.

The most pessimistic region remains Oceania, where airlines have almost zero expectations of any traffic recovery in the month of May.

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

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.

Last week’s capacities update, where we stated the airlines vanished half of the scheduled weekly seats, was not the bottom of COVID-19 crisis. This week we see airlines further cutting capacity with another portion of weekly seats removed from scheduled capacity.

Still, we see the airlines still are in firefighting mode and updating their schedules for the upcoming few weeks. Airline schedules show the optimism of traffic recovery in the month of May, but this may be just a sign of uncertainty when the government-imposed limitations will be lifted and what the pattern of demand recovery will be.

This pre-Easter week of April 6 to 12th, airlines all around the world have 38.4 million seats scheduled to depart. Less than month ago, airlines believed the Easter demand will be more than 100 million seats.

We believe airlines may look more into the May and June months planning around Easter and we expect changes in capacities for these months later. It is quite obvious the demand will not rise over 100 million seats mark this summer.

The cuts in Asia, the largest continent by scheduled capacity, were the smallest. Airlines removed 5 million seats for next five weeks, compared to the picture a week ago. Airlines are optimistic in recovery the region in May.

Airlines in North America are still running down expectations for the capacity required for the next week. We see airlines expect the market will shrink. The real firefighting mode is visible in the airlines’ decisions: we heard a few notices about service cuts, but the airlines are not quick to reflect the changes in the schedules. There is plenty of optimism for the month of May, but that is most likely a sign that airlines need more time to work and confirm new schedules.

The cut of schedule capacity in Europe was also smaller compared to the reductions we saw a week ago. Airlines have scheduled 3.5 million seats for the current week. That is the drastic downsize compared to 22.9 million seats scheduled for the Easter week in the middle of March. We see the largest market in Europe now being Russia, driven by scheduled domestic flights. The number of seats should be reduced as the flight limitations hit Russia a bit later than Western Europe. Still, European airlines kept almost the same capacity for the month of May as a week ago.

Despite the fact that South America and Africa are relatively less impacted by COVID-19, the capacity is heavily reduced by the airlines to meet lack of demand and respond to government-imposed limitations. A sharp increase in capacity is still scheduled for the beginning of May, but this is subject to revision as the situation continues to develop.

We noticed very similar pattern in Africa, like in South America:

The airlines serving Oceania are less optimistic with the timing of recovery. If we saw last week some optimism to grow the capacity for the second part of May, we see a flat line now for May’s capacity. Nevertheless, all schedules are subject to change these days, but still we expect more cuts than resumed routes in the next two months.

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.

Our latest analysis shows that 55% of the total airline fleets around the world are now grounded. Based on data from ch-aviation’s fleets advanced data, 17,944 aircraft are now parked for storage or maintenance globally.

The percentage of grounded aircraft is lower than the number of scheduled flights in the world, as many airlines drastically reduced the utilisation of the aircraft instead of complete grounding. Still, almost 18,000 aircraft grounded is an unprecedented number in the industry.

The highest percentage of grounded fleets we see are in Africa, where airlines parked 74% of their fleets. Europe is the close runner-up with 72% of the fleet grounded and the highest number of inactive aircraft (5,796).

The lowest percentage of parked aircraft is now in North America (39%), but this can be explained because the airlines are still in the process of schedule reductions and aircraft parking. We may expect more in the next few weeks.

Active Total %, grounded
Africa 403 1,547 74%
Asia 5,261 10,868 52%
Europe 2,247 8,043 72%
North America 6,131 10,030 39%
Oceania 468 952 51%
South America 390 1,404 72%

We have also looked to the airports with the highest number of aircraft parked for storage or maintenance. The three largest airports are in United States. This can be explained by the usual practice of U.S. airlines sending non-used aircraft for storage in dry conditions. This is not that usual in the other parts of the world, where airlines usually park aircraft in their operational bases if there is enough parking space.

TOP 20 airports with the largest number of parked aircraft:

Roswell, ROW; United States of America 564
Victorville, VCV; United States of America 560
Marana, MZJ; United States of America 256
Johannesburg O.R. Tambo, JNB; South Africa 255
Kingman, IGM; United States of America 221
Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta, CGK; Indonesia 202
Tucson Int’l, TUS; Unted States of America 195
Tehran Mehrabad, THR; Iran 184
Delhi Int’l, DEL; India 177
Goodyear, GYR; United States of America 162
San Bernardino, SBD; United States of America 155
Cairo Int’l, CAI; Egypt 142
Manila Ninoy Aquino Int’l, MNL; Philippines 136
Bangkok Don Mueang, DMK; Thailand 132
Dubai World Central; DWC; United Arab Emirates 129
Blytheville, BYH; North America 126

There are no airports in Europe in the top 20 because in Europe airlines usually do not send aircraft to dedicated airports for parking. Most of the grounded aircraft in Europe are parked at airline bases. Madrid Barajas Airport has the largest number of aircraft parked for storage or maintenance – 113 aircraft, followed by Munich Airport (110) and Vienna airport (109).

The latest update from ch-aviation capacities shows that airlines around the world have further reduced their schedules. The scheduled seat capacity for the current week from March 30 to April 5 is 49.1 million seats. Two weeks ago, in the middle of March, airlines had more than 100 million seats scheduled for the current week.

The capacity reductions continue – our look last week at airline schedules indicated 21 million weekly seats vanished from the schedules.

One thing still hasn’t changed: the world’s airlines still believe the recovery will happen in the beginning of May. Still, airlines do not believe 100 million weekly seats may be needed in May.

The situation remains dynamic as many governments impose traffic limitations and airlines try to understand the real capacity needs for current demand.

Airlines are relatively more optimistic with the largest market for the industry, Asia. Airlines expect that traffic in Asia may return by the end of April.

In North America we see airlines are not that fast reacting to immediate capacity cuts but companies expect the market will shrink in upcoming weeks. The scheduled capacity for the next 3 weeks are smaller than the current week. Still, there is plenty of optimism for the month of May or there is a sign it will take more time for the airlines to understand the demand patterns. It is highly likely North American airlines will review the demand and expand the reductions.

Europe got the highest drop in scheduled capacity. The capacity for the current week is 5 million seats when airlines believe there was a demand for 22 million seats two weeks ago. The capacity growth curves in Europe remain with steep growth during April toward expected recovery in May. Even though most airline executives say they do not believe in recovery in May, the airline schedules are still there.

Despite the fact South America is relatively less impacted by COVID-19, the capacity is heavily reduced by the airlines to meet lack of demand and respond to government- imposed limitations. A sharp increase in capacity is still scheduled for the beginning of May, but this is subject to revision as the situation continues to develop.

We noticed very similar pattern in Africa, like in South America:

The airlines serving Oceania are less optimistic with the timing of recovery. The scheduled capacity curve shows an incline only in the second half of May. Nevertheless, all schedules are subject to change these days.

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.

Back in the middle of February 2020, we looked at the groundings of aircraft by Chinese airlines. Last week we looked at our data showing the number of active aircraft in China started to increase, while the number of grounded aircraft by Hong Kong airlines continue to grow.

Last week we saw Chinese airlines had scheduled to grow the number of seats in the domestic market by 50% during the next seven weeks. Unfortunately, that short-term plan was too optimistic. For the current week, airlines have reduced the number of scheduled seats by one-fifth: from 10.5 million seats to 8.7 million. But airlines remain optimistic about the next week and estimates jump to 12 million weekly seats in the domestic market (still 0.5 million less then planned seven days ago).

Chinese airlines had planned to grow the number of seats in the domestic market by 50% during the next seven weeks but now that growth rate is reduced to 42% – still a lot of optimism in scheduled capacity.

On March 13, we covered in the ch-aviation PRO newsfeed that the Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) announced new support measures to aid the aviation industry affected by the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic. A total of 16 new measures include a reduction of fees at the airports, direct financial support, optimisation of licencing and schedule approval processes, among others. Earlier in March, CAAC also announced subsidies for routes to stimulate demand in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance.

We see the scheduled capacity from different airports are not estimated to grow proportionally. During the next month, the largest domestic airport in China, Beijing Capital (PEK), has a 91% growth of scheduled domestic seats. The largest domestic market in Shanghai also has significant growth scheduled with 82% growth in Pudong airport (PVG) and 56% growth in Hongqiao airport (SHA). The scheduled growth in Guangzhou is 36% while smaller markets will see significantly slower growth.

We will continue to monitor capacity shifts in the Chinese domestic market to help you to understand the trend of the recovery.

Data comes from ch-aviation capacities module.

Follow our blog and our LinkedIn page for the latest data extracts on #chaviationcovid19updates

The latest update from ch-aviation capacities shows that airlines around the world have reduced their schedules during the last seven days by 21 million seats for the weeks of March 23-29 and March 30-April 5.

The world’s airlines now have capacity recovery scheduled for the month of May.

The situation remains dynamic as many governmental restrictions were imposed at the end of last week and some airlines announced additional reductions during the weekend and haven’t updated their schedules yet (i.e. Emirates announced intentions to stop all flights starting March 25).

Under normal circumstances, there are more than 100 million seats scheduled to depart each week, based on ch-aviation capacities module. The scheduled capacity for the current week is just above the 70-million mark, and the first week scheduled for now to recover above 100 million is May 4-10.

The largest market, Asia, got the smallest hit last week on scheduled capacity. For the next 5 weeks airlines are scheduling 15% fewer seats from Asia compared to capacity scheduled 7 days ago. The relatively smaller reduction comes from the fact the airlines suspended more services earlier and the China domestic market is on a recovery pattern as we analysed last week.

The second-largest largest market in the world remains North America, where airlines have reduced scheduled by 17% for the next 5 weeks. The airlines plan to reduce schedules by the middle of April and many reductions come not with an immediate effect. For example, the current week’s capacity is reduced by 9% only when the capacity of Easter week was reduced by 17%. It is highly likely North American airlines will review the demand and expand the reductions.

Europe got the most of capacity reductions during the last week. Airlines removed 45% of the seats scheduled for the current week. A week ago, airlines had 18 million seats scheduled to depart Europe for the week from March 23-29 but due to governments’ limitations of travel and airlines actions to match the demand, the scheduled number of seats for the current week fell under the 10-million mark. Airlines remain optimistic for the traffic to recover in May, but it may be that airlines were not able to plan properly for further schedules and focused on short-term actions. Nevertheless, if last week showed signs the airlines believed in traffic recovery for Easter period, now the optimism is pushed forward to the month of May, at least.

We don’t need to look far to see where the slower tempo of new aircraft deliveries is taking place.

The number of new deliveries in China, Hong Kong and Macao stopped when the region entered Covid-19. We noticed massive groundings of aircraft in these countries in February and new aircraft deliveries also stopped. There were no new aircraft deliveries to airlines from China, Hong Kong and Macao in February when 20 new aircraft were delivered on average per month in 2019. The last new aircraft was Airbus A320NEO delivered to Spring Airlines on January 22, 2020.

Based on what we saw in China/Hong Kong/Macao we can expect aircraft deliveries slowed down in Europe too. Europe was third-largest market by new aircraft deliveries in 2019:

The South American market got the longer tail of reductions in scheduled capacity. Many airlines reduced schedules for the full month of April. A sharp increase in capacity is now scheduled for the beginning of May, but this is subject to revision as situation continues to develop.

Africa is less effected by the COVID-19 pandemic so far, but the reductions in capacity scheduled are similar in percentage to Europe. The governments in Africa were fast to close their borders and the number of seats scheduled to depart the current week dropped by 41%.

The curves of scheduled capacity in Oceania are similar to the ones in North America. The capacity reductions are applied with a short lag and we see scheduled capacity at lower levels for April compared to the current week.

We recommend you to follow our news bulletins updated every hour to get latest understanding are the real plans for the airlines to react to existing situation.

Airline COVID-19 capacity, network, staff cuts for 23-29MAR

Africa airline suspensions, country closures 23-29MAR

Asia airline suspensions, country closures 23-29MAR

Europe airline suspensions, country closures 23-29MAR

South America airline suspensions, country closures 23-29MAR

North America airline suspensions, country closures 23-29MAR

We see airlines are updating schedules at unprecedented levels. Our “Route News” (available for ch-aviation schedules subscribers) got the biggest number of updates in one week: almost 300 articles posted in one week.

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