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Airline capacity expected to increase by less than 15% in 2021

09/17/2021| 11:33:58 AM| 中文

2022 may actually be a better year than 2021.

Global capacity continues to be stuck just below the 80 million weekly seat mark with a modest increase in capacity taking us back to 79 million thanks largely to capacity increases in North East Asia. It is now very unlikely that we will trend back above the 80 million mark this year as airlines adjust schedules further and store whatever cash they have generated for the winter season. 

Total capacity to the year-end is currently standing at 3.7 billion seats compared to the 3.2 billion scheduled in 2020, a 15% in what was supposed to be the bounce back year suggesting that the trampoline has lost its bounce. In comparison to 2019 that would be around 36% below 2019 levels; indicating we have a long way to go! And just to make anyone feel as depressed as a Newcastle supporter (if there are such things) airlines this week axed another 17 million seats from their schedules to the year end.

Incredibly and despite everything there are still 699 scheduled airlines operating compared to 715 and the beginning of the pandemic proving that the airlines have been very successful and working their way through the crisis. We sometimes forget both how important airlines are to the global economy and how resilient they are in the long-term to major global events. It may take until 2024 at the earliest for a full recovery to be seen in terms of demand but perhaps finally there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

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TAGS: air travel capacity | coronavirus | China
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