OAG reports worldwide airline capacity up
Feb. 10, 2011, Washington, D.C. - OAG reports that worldwide scheduled airline capacity increased 5 per cent in February, year-on-year, to a total of 285.7 million seats. The number of flights increased 4 per cent, to 2.3 million departures worldwide during the month.
In its monthly Frequency and Capacity Trend Statistics (FACTS) report, OAG finds all regional markets recorded year-on-year growth in February, with the exception of capacity to and from Central and South America. This region lost 3 per cent of its seat capacity, when compared to the same month last year, feeling the impact again this month of the loss of Mexicana services.
Although capacity fell in Central and South America, overall; within Lower South America, scheduled capacity increased 12 per cent year-on-year. The Brazilian market is showing the strongest growth in the region, with a 14 per cent increase in domestic capacity in February compared to the same time last year.
"The current expansion in some South American markets may be at the height of a growth period. The impending rationalization of carriers in the region, and the development of larger alliances such as that proposed by the LAN Group and TAM, could lead to capacity consolidation as network rationalization occurs," said Peter von Moltke, Chief Executive Officer, UBM Aviation.
Year-on-year, the two fastest growing markets in the world are those to and from the Middle East, and to and from Asia Pacific, in terms of frequency of service. The total number of flights offered to and from the Middle East grew 13 per cent to a total of 49,014; flights to and from Asia Pacific increased 13 per cent to a total of 55,965.
Scheduled frequency and capacity to and from Europe was the second fastest growing region among the largest markets with scheduled capacity increasing by 11 per cent, to a total of 21.3 million seats; frequencies increased 10 per cent, to a total of 93,558. Growth within Europe, however, increased a modest 2 per cent in both seat capacity and the total number of flights to a total of 59.5 million seats and 493,150 flights.
"Medium to long haul carriers continue to build their presence in European markets, with the objective of securing greater shares of the longer haul markets, which traditionally deliver higher yields," continued von Moltke. "Carriers such as Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways will continue to increase flights and open new markets as their development progresses, and increased frequencies to a number of European destinations are expected by these airlines throughout the year."
The number of scheduled services both within and to and from North America remained constant year-on-year, although a slight increase in average capacity per flight resulted in more seats being offered. Total capacity to and from this region increased 3 per cent, to a total of 15.5 million.