Global capacity failed to break through the 80 million seat mark this week settling at 79.8 million, a slight increase on last week of 1.5% with the typical ebbs and flows in various regions. This is the busiest week for capacity since the 16th March 2020 and on an even more positive note international capacity has increased by over 80% in the last 10 weeks as more countries ease out of lockdowns. With some major markets easing restrictions in the next few weeks international capacity currently stands at 24 million seats a week by the last week of July, a further 4 million from where we are at the moment.
However, on a cautionary note some 4 million seats were removed from July’s capacity and over 8 million in August as airlines continue to shave capacity in line with continued lockdowns. Taking just one example, this week there are some 740,000 scheduled seats planned between Western Europe and the United States, by the middle of August that rises to 965,000, unless the US authorities allow overseas passport holders entry then there is no need for the extra quarter of a million seats. Can someone give Mr Biden a nudge to wake up and smell the coffee?
A week of marginal growth equals a week of modest optimism. However, the real issue remains; until international travel to and from the United States and China is permitted for all nationalities the industry will not recover. Such lockdowns and restrictions just create irrational behaviour; apparently it is possible for any international visitor to the US to spend a week in Mexico and then freely enter the United States; the law of unintended consequences works in mysterious ways!
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