Europe aviation capacity: 3Q reaches 96% of 2019 levels; 4Q outlook is 97%

Premium Analysis

In the week of 18-Sep-2023 capacity in Europe is at 95.5% of the equivalent week 2019, which is a shortfall of just 4.5%. This puts Europe in last place in the regional ranking for the week, just behind Asia Pacific, where capacity is down by a low single digit percentage.

Seat capacity in North America is up by a low single digit percentage compared with the equivalent week of 2019, while capacity in Middle East, Latin America and Africa is above 2019 by mid-single-digit percentages.

With 3Q2023 now in its final week, Europe's capacity for the quarter has reached almost 96% of 2019 levels, which is an improvement on 2Q2023's 94% and the best quarterly performance since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schedules filed by airlines point to further increases to the end of the year, with 4Q2023 projected at close to 97% – split as intra-Europe at 95% and intercontinental routes back to 100%.

However, the quarterly rising trend is not reflected in the month-by-month trend in 4Q projections, with Nov-2023 and Dec-2023 easing back relative to Oct-2023.

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