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UK green list just 5% of 2019 airline seats. Europe capacity stagnant

Premium Analysis

The UK government's confirmation that non-essential international travel can resume from 17-May-2021, at least for England, is good news.

However, England's 'green list' – countries and territories exempt from self-isolation/quarantine requirements – accounted for just 5% of UK seat capacity in 2019. Moreover, testing will still be required from green list countries, and leisure travel to amber and red list countries is still discouraged.

The UK is Europe's biggest aviation market and has the most advanced vaccination programme, so its actions in reopening international travel are likely to be watched by other European nations. Full details of EU proposals to relax restrictions are still awaited.

Meanwhile, current seat capacity (week of 10-May-2021) in Europe is 70.6% below seat capacity in 2019.

The next weakest region on this measure is Middle East, where capacity is down by 49.7% versus 2019; Africa is down by 48.8%, Latin America by 42.3%, Asia Pacific by 35.0%, and North America by 33.7% (the first time since early Feb-2021 that Asia Pacific has fallen below North America).

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