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Global Air Capacity Tops 50 Million Seats

Numbers show airlines are also getting a clearer picture of projected demand, according to OAG

July 13, 2020

Global air capacity has broken through the 50 million-seat mark, according to flight information and analytics provider OAG.  The latest report for the most recent week tabulated shows airline capacity at 53.8 million seats.

Globally, OAG reported capacity reached bottom at the end of April, with a slow recovery in the subsequent months. Airlines are now at 34 percent more capacity than they were in mid-June, when air travel saw the first major easing of lockdowns and travel restrictions. However the current numbers are still 45 percent below the same period last year.

On a positive note, far fewer seats were removed at the last minute, according to OAG, indicating that airlines are getting “a closer grip” on planned operations as a recovery continues.

Nine of the 10 largest regional markets reported growth, with only the southwest Pacific region reporting a decline because of the lack of international service. The strongest growth was in Western Europe, with a 16 percent increase.

Many of the regional markets remain at or around 50 percent of their January capacity levels; the notable exceptions are northeast Asia and eastern Europe, where capacity is edging closer to three-quarters of the January numbers, pre-COVID-19 lockdowns.