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.

At ch-aviation we are tracking new aircraft deliveries of the largest aircraft manufacturers: Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, COMAC, De Havilland, Embraer and Irkut. An analysis of deliveries for the first two months of 2020 already shows results impacted by Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.

December is the busiest month for manufacturers with new aircraft deliveries as most manufacturers try to deliver as many aircraft as possible in the calendar year. The first two months are usually slower than year-end, but deliveries in the first two months of 2020 are significantly lower than same two months a year earlier.

Boeing deliveries last spring were hit by the grounding of Boeing 737MAX aircraft, the most popular type in Boeing’s portfolio. Still, we can see January and February were significantly slower months for Boeing than any month in 2019.

Airbus also had a slower month in January than the year before, but the European manufacturer was able to deliver more aircraft in February than a year earlier. Their result was positively impacted by more Airbus A220 deliveries (5 vs 2 in February 2020 vs February 2019).

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:

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

We used ch-aviation fleets advanced for this analysis.

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

A growing number of airlines across the planet started drastic fleet, network and staffing cuts in an effort to combat the economic impact of Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. Follow our updates: Airline COVID-19 capacity, network, staff cuts for 17-22MAR.

Our analysis of ch-aviation capacities shows most of the the capacity cut in scheduled flights it is not drastic and airlines remain optimistic flights to recover during Easter vacation period and will grow further preparing for the summer season.

We understand currently airline after airline is grounding their fleet or reducing capacity and we could expect further drop of scheduled flights before the end of the week. We will continue to monitor capacity situation in the beginning of next week.

We see scheduled capacity growth in Asia for next weeks which comes in line with our previous analysis showing recovery in China domestic market and growing number of active aircraft at Chinese airlines fleets.

South America, Africa and Oceania are relatively unaffected at the moment, but it is few times smaller markets compared to Asia, North America and Europe. Asia being the largest with around 40 million seats to depart each week, followed by North America (28 million) and Europe (27 million). South America is significantly smaller 5-million seats per week market when Africa and Oceania are even smaller.

We will continue to monitor schedule changes next week to understand what is the total capacity cut in different regions.

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

We used ch-aviation capacities data for this analysis.

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

In times like these, you need a source you can trust.

The situation around the world is changing every day and every hour when it comes to government-enforced restrictions, increased border controls or airline decisions to reduce or suspend their operations.

We are constantly monitoring the latest updates from 4 continents now and there are 5 articles being updated with the latest information with free access to everyone.

Refresh the following articles to get updates:

GLOBAL UPDATES BULLETIN: Airline COVID-19 capacity, network, staff cuts for 17-22MAR

EUROPE: European carriers suspend ops amid increased border controls

ASIA: Asian carriers hit as gov’ts restrict int’l flights

AFRICA: African gov’ts restrict int’l ops in bid to curb COVID-19

NORTH AMERICA: North American gov’ts clamp down on int’l ops

GLOBAL (archived, updated until March 17th, 2020): Global airlines cut capacity, staff, costs due to COVID-19

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

Back in the middle of February this year, we looked at the groundings of aircraft by Chinese airlines. Our data team updates information every day and, as of February 12, 2020, we found that 1,215 aircraft operated by airlines from China, Hong Kong and Macao had been grounded.

The latest analysis of ch-aviation fleets advanced data shows the number of active aircraft in this group of countries started to increase again from the beginning of March.

But if we look at the split of countries, then China shows an even higher rate of recovery of active aircraft while the number of active aircraft in Hong Kong still goes down.

We will continue to monitor the aircraft activity further and we plan to release an update after a week.

At the same time, ch-aviation capacities data shows the growth of China domestic traffic.

Chinese airlines schedule to grow the number of seats in the domestic market by 50% during the next 7 weeks. Airlines had 8,4 million seats scheduled for the week from March 9th to 15th and currently have scheduled 12,7 million scheudled for the week April 20 to 26th.

We continue to monitor capacity shifts in China and we see the airlines reduced the number of seats scheduled for the current and the next weeks compared to capacity they had scheduled week before. But optimism is growing for a stronger recovery at the begining of April.

On 13th of March, we have 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 and others. Earlier in March, CAAC also announced subsidies for routes to stimulate demand in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance.

We follow 52 airlines operating domestic flights in China (41 of them operates passenger flights). The 10 largest airlines have about 70% of total scheduled capacity with China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Air China having a double-digit percentage of market share.

 AirlineCapacity% of Total
1China Southern Airlines153160017,61%
2China Eastern Airlines99404111,43%
3Air China90673910,42%
4Xiamen Airlines6223587,15%
5Shenzhen Airlines4946255,69%
6Sichuan Airlines4783615,50%
7Hainan Airlines3659114,21%
8Shandong Airlines3649164,19%
9Spring Airlines3452403,97%
10Juneyao Air2203002,53%

We used ch-aviation fleets advanced and ch-aviation capacities data for this analysis.

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

Italy remains the largest affected European country during the ongoing spread of the COVID-19 virus. Many airlines have announced cancellations or reduced frequencies throughout Italy. The largest airline in the market, Ryanair, is suspending all of its flights to and from Italy between March 13 and April 8, according to a statement the ultra-low-cost carrier issued to investors.

We analyzed the ch-aviation capacities module to understand what airlines are most exposed with Italy operations and which are the largest destination markets from Italy.

Based on ch-aviation capacities scheduled for the current week (March 9 to 15, 2020) we see 35.5% of capacity scheduled from Italian airports are for domestic flights.

The market leader by seats scheduled in Italy is Ryanair with more than 0.5 million seats scheduled to depart this week. The Irish airline takes almost one-third of the market capacity with flights from Italian airports. Ryanair is the second-largest carrier at Rome Fiumicino and Milan Malpensa, Italy’s two biggest airports, and it is the dominant airline at the country’s third-largest facility, controlling 88% of weekly seats at Milan Bergamo.

Airline Number of seats Share of seats, %
Ryanair 509.544 32,65%
Alitalia 277.018 17,75%
easyJet Europe 183.788 11,78%
Wizz Air 55.771 3,57%
Vueling Airlines 48.052 3,08%
easyJet 36.749 2,35%
British Airways 32.569 2,09%
Volotea 25.950 1,66%
Air France 25.538 1,64%
Lufthansa 25.108 1,61%

Four countries had more than 100,000 seats scheduled from Italian airports per week.

The leading destination markets are United Kingdom, followed by Spain, Germany and France.

Country Number of seats Share of seats, %
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the) 153.074 15,22%
Spain 142.578 14,18%
Germany 108.322 10,77%
France 102.890 10,23%
Netherlands (the) 46.268 4,60%
Romania 35.232 3,50%
Russian Federation (the) 28.912 2,88%
Belgium 28.766 2,86%
Poland 26.328 2,62%
Portugal 24.176 2,40%

The two largest international airports with the highest capacity of flights to Italy are actually in Spain – Madrid Barajas and Barcelona El Prat.

Airport Number of seats Share of seats, %
Madrid Barajas (MAD) 50.663 5,04%
Barcelona El Prat (BCN) 44.991 4,47%
London Gatwick (LGW) 44.428 4,42%
Paris CDG (CDG) 43.178 4,29%
Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) 40.111 3,99%
London Stansted (STN) 38.667 3,85%
London Heathrow (LHR) 25.293 2,52%
Munich (MUC) 24.096 2,40%
Paris Orly (ORY) 23.669 2,35%
Frankfurt Int’l (FRA) 22.760 2,26%

Data from the the ch-aviation capacities module