AIRLINE FREQUENCY AND CAPACITY TREND STATISTICS
Each month OAG produces an Airline Frequency and Capacity Trend Statistics Report, flight data included is sourced via Schedules Analyser; a cutting-edge platform for airline schedule analysis. The report contains key facts and figures including Seats by Region, Top 20 Country Pairs, Top 20 Airlines, and Top 20 Airports, plus additional information regarding the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the recovery of the travel industry. The data below is for the month of May 2023.
SEATS BY REGION
- Global capacity is expected to reach 476m this month, an increase of 6.2% on last month, and bringing capacity tantalisingly close to the May 2019 figure - just 2.4% behind.
- 11 of the 18 regions are now ahead of 2019, with just Southern Africa, South East Asia, Eastern Europe, North America and the Southwest Pacific regions behind on May 2019.
- Considering the position a few months ago, South East Asia has seen strong recovery, with capacity now sitting just 15.2% below May 2019. North East Asia is now above 2019 for the first time, with seats 0.5% ahead of May 2019.
TOP TWENTY COUNTRY PAIRS
- Half of the 20 largest country pairs are not yet back to 2019 levels, with most sitting between 10-20% below. Most of these are on markets within Europe such as Spain-UK which is 8.6% below, Germany-Spain which is 12.7% below and UK-Italy which is 11.5% below.
- Strong growth this month is evident in some key European leisure markets such as the UK-Greece which has seen capacity more than double this month as the summer season starts in earnest.
- The UK-Turkey has also seen strong month on month growth with an uplift of 27.6% in capacity.
TOP TWENTY AIRLINES
- Strongest month on month growth this month comes from easyJet who are adding 10.9% more flights than last month, although flights still remain below their 2019 levels by 9.3%.
- Ryanair too record steady growth this month with 5.3% more flights.
- Steady growth continues in the US with Delta, United and Southwest all recording between 4-5% growth, and just American lagging a little behind with an increase of 1.6% on last month. With the exception of Southwest who will operate 3.6% more flights this May than in 2019, the US majors have a range of between 14-19% below May 2019.
- Strongest among the Top 20 in terms of their 2019 position is Indigo who will operate 29.7% more flights than May 2019 this month.
TOP TWENTY AIRPORTS
- Dubai, the world's second largest airport by capacity, is fastest growing versus May 2019 this month, with 39.2% more seats than in 2019.
- The average growth rate for the world's 20 biggest airports is 5.6% for this month versus last month with only Delhi recording a decline in capacity month on month, of 1.3%. Delhi is already above May 2019 however, by 5.8%.
- Least 'recovered' of this group of airports is Beijing which remains 33.8% below as international routes have not yet fully returned.
- Strongest growth this month comes from Jakarta where seats have increased by 10.9% compared to last month.
- Six of the Top 10 largest domestic markets are above their May 2019 position, although the US is only just, at 0.4% higher - equivalent to just 324,000 seats.
- China is now furthest ahead in terms of comparison to May 2019, with 20.3% more seats than previously.
- Vietnam is also in a similar position with 19.6% more seats than May 2019.
- This month, domestic capacity is now 3.1% ahead of May 2019 and international capacity is just 10.1% behind.
FREQUENCY & CAPACITY STATISTICS DECODED
All data is sourced from OAG Schedules and is for the current month and previous months. Change in capacity and frequency is then calculated in each category against the same month in 2019 and against the previous month. Data is unadjusted for the leap year effect. In 2021 we moved to ranking the Top 20’s (Country Pairs, Airlines and Airports) by the current month, rather than using pre-COVID rankings.
There are six categories as defined below:
- Seats by Region is seat capacity for the current month to, from and within each global sub region.
- Top 20 Country Pairs are those international country pairs with most seat capacity based on the current month.
- Top 20 Airlines are the 20 largest global airlines by flights based on the current month.
- Top 20 Airports are the 20 largest airports by capacity based on the current month.
- Domestic Markets are the 10 largest markets by seats.
- COVID19 impacts domestic and international by month.
Each category includes a comparison in each of the above categories against the previous month, to highlight where frequency and capacity may be starting to recover.
Data for May 2023 is based on the OAG Schedules data as of 11th May 2023.