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European airline capacity up for the first time in COVID-19 crisis

Premium Analysis

Total airline seat numbers in Europe have dropped by 87% year-on-year, according to schedules data from OAG combined with CAPA Fleet Database seat configurations.

Since the COVID-19 crisis took hold, this is the first week to witness a narrowing of the rate of decline versus the previous week (last week's drop was 90%). Capacity was up by 40% (of a low base) week on week.

Nevertheless, Europe's cuts are still deeper than elsewhere. This compares with -82% in Latin America, -79% in Middle East, -75% in Africa, -71% in North America and -60% in Asia Pacific. Latin America, Asia Pacific and Africa also slowed their rate of contraction this week, but the Middle East and North America accelerated their declines.

The small step up from the bottom in Europe's weekly scheduled capacity should be greeted with caution.

A transition from a V shape to a U shape recovery is now clear in Europe's summer 2020 filed schedules. Nevertheless, comparison with forecasts from ACI, IATA and ICAO indicates that filed schedules are slow to adjust.

Europe's summer schedules have further to fall.

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