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Europe's airline capacity recovers. Lower frequencies per route

Premium Analysis

Europe's aviation capacity recovery continues, but its network is changing shape.

A fall in average seats per frequency highlights short haul's lead over long haul and a drop in average frequency per route emphasises leisure operations over business travel. The relative importance of domestic markets is increasing, with 10 of Europe's top 20 routes now in domestic Russia and four in domestic Turkey.

Europe's total capacity is scheduled to be 13.4 million seats this week (commencing 13-Jul-2020) – the highest since mid March. The year-on-year reduction of 63.6% (the narrowest since mid March) compares with a lesser 40.1% cut in routes.

Latin America has the deepest cut in seat capacity, down by 73.8%, followed by Africa's 68.3% cut. Seats are down by 67.4% in Middle East, 55.8% in North America and 43.6% in Asia Pacific. All regions are increasing capacity week-on-week.

There has been no trimming of Europe's future schedules this week for the first time during the crisis. Either airlines are gaining confidence about peak summer demand, or they are retaining maximum schedule flexibility for as long as possible (more likely a combination of both).

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