Strong increases in Asia Pacific capacity in May-2010. Thai Airways' shares jump


Worldwide airline capacity is growing solidly again this month, according to OAG. Global airline seat capacity and flight frequency will increase 6% and 5% year-on-year to 317.5 million and 2.6 million, respectively.

OAG stated the strengthening of the global economy is reflected in May-2010’s scheduling data. It added, “indications are that despite the astonishing volcanic ash disruptions to the air transportation system, this month’s scheduled seat capacity and frequency are normal and continue the growing trend the industry has been experiencing for the past nine months.”

Air traffic to and from all regions of the world show increases in May, with strong growth in seat capacity expected to/from Asia Pacific, with an increase of 9.3% to a total of 14.3 million seats; to/from the Middle East increasing by 11% to 11 million; and to/from Africa increasing 16% to 7.2 million seats.

Within the Asia Pacific region there will be a 10% increase in seat capacity to 89.8 million and an 11% increase in flight operations to 596,608. The total number of flights to/from the region is increasing 10% to a total of 58,397 in May-2010 - or some 6.9% above May-2009 levels.

Asia Pacific flight numbers: May-2001 to May-2010

See related report: World airports report encouraging 1Q2010 traffic trends, though volcano effect expected in April

Thai Airways bounces back

Asia Pacific airline shares were mixed yesterday. Thai Airways surged 6.6% as Thai stocks leapt more than 4% after the government proposed early elections as part of a move to end the country’s political crisis. Tourism and hospitality shares led the rebound.

Elsewhere, Virgin Blue (-3.6%) continued to slide in the wake of Monday’s profit warning, while Qantas fell by a similar amount. Singapore Airlines dipped 0.7%, while Cathay Pacific gained 1.6%.

Asia Pacific selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 04-May-2010

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