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How and when will aviation recover from Covid-19?

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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact, keep up to date with developments in the aviation industry by exploring our data, insights, and tools to help you manage and strategise for what’s next.

Global scheduled seat Capacity year-over-year

Each month, we’ll show the % change in capacity for the latest full month (e.g March 2021), compared to the previous month (February 2021) and also the % change to the same months in the last two years so in this case, March 2019 and March 2020. We also show the projected capacity going forward (2021 schedule) and update that weekly.

We also provide the % change in capacity for the current week i.e. week beginning 3 May 2021, compared to the previous week (week beginning 26th April 2021) and also the % change to the equivalent week in the last two years, so the week beginning 6th May 2019 and 4th May 2020.

These datasets will allow us to continue to monitor recovery against pre-pandemic capacity, during the pandemic and latest trends.

Global_Seat_Capacity_3May2021
This month, global capacity was 266.8m, 43% below seats in April 2019.
During the month carriers removed 6.9m seats as demand faltered due to ongoing lockdowns across various parts of the world.
Since last week, capacity for May has been revised downwards with 9m seats taken out so that May is now scheduled to have capacity of 292m seats, compared to 301m seats a week ago.

capacity variance by current month and week

Capacity_Variance_3May2021
This week, global capacity is 43.8% behind the same week in 2019, but significantly higher than it was this time last year.
Weekly global capacity is planned as 62.3m seats, representing 0.7% more capacity than last week. Over the past 8 weeks capacity has fluctuated up and down but stayed within a fairly narrow band of between 59.0m seats and 62.3m seats.
There are large variations in capacity movement by country; The US has 550,000 more seats this week than last week, while India has 174,000 fewer seats and Japan has 121,000 fewer seats, demonstrating the impact that responses to covid-19 infection rates continue to have on scheduled aviation.
For the US this represents a 3.7% increase in capacity while for India this is a 6.5% drop in capacity and for Japan it is a 5.5% drop.
Elsewhere, while the increase/decrease in capacity may be smaller in absolute terms, it is larger as a proportion of operating capacity. The capacity story is positive in Europe, in particular, as we approach the summer season and as vaccination rates across the continent rise. Spain sees a 13.1% increase in seats this week, compared to last week, while Germany sees a 10.5% increase and the UK sees an increase of 8.7%.

Weekly Global Scheduled Seats Change Year-over-Year

Global capacity continues to fluctuate around the 61-62m weekly market, with an increase this week of 1.2%.

Weekly_Global_Scheduled_Seats
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