Europe's airline capacity climb continues. Summer peak still too high

Premium Analysis

The tentative return of European airline capacity is continuing. In the week commencing 25-May-2020, seat numbers in Europe have jumped by 38.9% from last week, according to schedules from OAG combined with CAPA Fleet Database seat configurations.

The year-on-year decline – a more meaningful measure – is 79.1%, which is 5.6ppts narrower than last week's 84.6% drop. Nevertheless, it is the ninth successive week of cuts of -78% to -90%.

Europe is currently on the steepest upward trend compared with other regions. Latin America is again experiencing the heaviest cuts, with a decline of 88.1% year-on-year. Seats have been reduced by 86.8% in Middle East, 80.1% in Africa, 78.9% in North America and 54.4% in Asia Pacific.

Although Europe's early stage upward trend is discernible, capacity projected by schedules filed with OAG for the summer 2020 peak months has fallen since last week and will fall further.

For demand to follow capacity upwards, consumer confidence in air travel will need to be restored. Europe's aviation industry and regulators are starting to coordinate an approach to this.

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