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Aeroflot highest capacity recovery in Europe; Ryanair least

Premium Analysis

Two factors are clear for European airlines in the recovery from COVID-19: a large domestic market and a low cost business model are advantages.

Capacity data for the week of 15-Feb-2021 underline these points. Among Europe's leading airline groups, Aeroflot Group and Turkish Airlines have the highest percentage of their 2019 capacity, largely because Russia and Turkey are Europe's largest domestic markets.

Aeroflot also has an LCC subsidiary, Pobeda, which has been at more than 100% of its 2019 capacity through most of the crisis.

The LCCs Ryanair and easyJet have the lowest percentage of their 2019 capacity among the leading groups. This is because they are better at flexing their capacity according to demand, currently depressed by restrictions on international travel. In Aug-2020, the peak month so far, they had the highest levels among Western Europe's leading groups.

For Europe as a whole, domestic markets are relatively small, and its total seat capacity is down by 75.2% versus 2019, much worse than in other regions. Middle East is down by 56.8%, Africa is down by 52.7%, North America by 45.9%, Latin America by 45.7% and Asia Pacific by 42.5%.

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