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November Airline Capacity Up in North America

In the face of another lockdown, European carriers see the biggest drop, as Asia-Pacific region also sheds a large number of seats

November 16, 2020

North American airlines have increased capacity in the month of November, boosting the number of seats available by 3.9 percent compared to the previous month, according to OAG, the industry statisticians.

Some of the increase could be attributable to airlines gearing up for a heavier Thanksgiving holiday travel period, reflecting a more optimistic strategy than is being played out elsewhere in the world.

In Western Europe, carriers saw a drop of 17.8 million seats taken out between October and November, as the industry braces for another lockdown. In Asia-Pacific, 8.2 million seats were taken out between October and November, partly reflecting shorter planning horizons for carriers and lagging demand, according to OAG.

North America also showed a more positive trend for capacity levels compared with 2019. The US moved to 40 percent lower capacity than in November of 2019, compared with 48 percent lower in September and 45 percent lower in October.