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LCCs' summer capacity surge puts paid to concerns over aviation rebound


The latest IATA figures this week may have held concerns for the global rebound, but forecasts for the northern summer reveal airlines, especially LCCs, are willing to back their hand on the capacity factor.

IATA stated that while air travel volumes were now 5% above pre-crisis levels – and Apr-2011 figures showed a rebound from the Japan earthquake and MENA setbacks – the trend in global traffic has remained flat.

The flattening of the previously strong upward trend began in the latter part of 2010 and the April result can be put down to a decline on some domestic markets, rather than international.

See CAPA’s analysis: Economic rebound could be running out of steam but traffic above pre-crisis level

The good and bad news capacity-wise was reflected in this week’s Innovata data.

The world's airlines are growing their capacity levels (ASKs) by 6.8% in Jun-2011, after a similar increase in May. But two of the three leading airlines in Delta (-0.3%) and United (-0.9%) are contracting this month.

American Airlines (+2.3%) split Delta and United, with Emirates growing capacity at close to 10% year-on-year and could reclaim fourth spot from United in coming months.

Scan the top 25 CAPA-Innovata data: World's Biggest Airlines Rankings: Jun-2011. Turkish Airlines the fastest growing

While there was no change at the top of the LCC league table, Ryanair is steadily closing the gap on Southwest (7.9%) reporting a 20% surge in capacity coming into the peak season.

Notably Jetstar moved into 10th position with a 20.5% year-on-year surge in capacity. In doing so it relegated Virgin Australia out of the top flight.

India's Indigo has reclaimed the mantle of the fastest growing LCC on the CAPA-Innovata LCC rankings this month with a 43.4% year-on-year surge in capacity (ASKs), which also moved it up to 20th.

The top 25 LCCs are: Global LCC Rankings: Jun-2011.

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