Home » The Global Aviation Market Recovery

The Global Aviation Market Recovery

by David Hopwood
  • Weekly global scheduled capacity is 32.2% compared to a year ago.
  • The world’s busiest airport last week was Guangzhou in China
  • By weekly capacity, Southwest Airlines was the biggest carrier

Beijing is suffering a second wave of coronavirus infections. Chinese authorities have drastically reduced travel outside of the city including a two-thirds reduction in departures from Capital and Daxing airports. In light of this—possibly a second shock to the Asian market—we take a look at the revival thus far of the global commercial aviation market.

  1. Global Departures
  • The week of 27th January 2020 was the point in time immediately before carriers began to reduce capacity as a result of the pandemic. Capacity at that point was higher–at 102%–compared to the same point in 2019: 107 million weekly departure seats. (MDS)
  • The week of 4th May 2020 was the lowest point. Capacity at that point was 28% compared to 2019: 30.6 MWD.
  • The latest data for 8th June 2020, indicates the capacity is at 37.3 MDS, 32% compared to 2019, an increase of 4 percentage points in 5 weeks.
  1. Regional Departures
RegionStart of ReductionMDSBottom of ReductionMDSMDS 8 June
Asia-Pacific27 January44.520 April16.921.6
Europe 2 March23.820 April2.64.9
North America16 March24.511 May5.37.3
Latin America16 March8.918 May1.01.4
Middle East2 March4.911 May1.01.5
Africa9 March3.218 May0.60.6


  • The weekly departures in the African region increased by ~50 000 between 18 May and 8 June.
  • From 2nd March to 16th March, weekly departures in North America increased by 3%, whereas in Europe they decreased by 7%
  • From 17th February to 2nd March capacity in Asia-Pacific increased by 11% then fell again.
  1. Week-on-Week Capacity Growth by Country

    Guangzhou Airport © Flickr Commons

Between the 1st and 8th June, the USA added the most seats; 930 000, a 15% increase.  Turkey added the most capacity by percentage, 31% (165 962 seats). China has the most seats available, at 12.4 million.

  1. Busiest Airports

A year ago, the top 10 busiest airports offered a total of 10.5 MDS. Last week the same airports offered 2.67 MDS. Last week the busiest airport in the world was Guangzhou, (CAN) followed by Beijing Capital (PEK) and Tokyo-Haneda (HND)

Data derived from OAG Schedules Analyser. Any interpretation from that data is tentative and subject to the fluid nature of the coronavirus transmission pattern.

Leave a Reply

Notify of

Related Posts