Europe aviation summer capacity outlook: 96% of 2019 levels in 3Q2023

Premium Analysis

Europe's aviation capacity recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic remains tantalisingly close to, but short of, its 2019 levels.

In the week of 1-May-2023 capacity in Europe was at 93.5% of the equivalent week 2019, or a shortfall of just 6.5%. This put Europe in last place in the regional ranking for the week, having been overtaken by Asia Pacific, which had been the laggard for most of 2022.

Seat capacity in Asia Pacific and North America was down by low single digit percentages compared with the equivalent week of 2019, while capacity in Middle East, Africa and Latin America was above 2019 by single digit percentages. Global capacity was at 101%.

Europe's 1Q2023 capacity reached 88% of 2019 levels – the best quarterly performance since COVID-19. Schedules filed by airlines point to further increases this northern summer, with 2Q2023 projected at 94% and 3Q2023 at close to 96%.

Europe to Africa, Europe to the Middle East and the North Atlantic are all projected to be above 100% of 2019 capacity in 3Q2023.

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