Asia-Pacific has experienced a capacity reduction of about 37% in 2020, compared with global capacity contracting by 45%. The region contributes the largest proportion (36%) of global capacity.
Domestic markets play an essential role in the overall regional picture, accounting for 71% of capacity. Positively, many important domestic markets within the region have rebounded quickly, helped by a lower rate of COVID-19 infections and the removal of internal travel restrictions.
Countries such as China, Japan, Vietnam and New Zealand have led the domestic recovery, with China’s domestic market almost fully recovered to 2019 levels. It is hoped this domestic strength will ignite capacity recovery on intraregional short-haul markets, followed by long-haul international routes.
The current scheduled capacity for 2021 is 67% of 2019 levels, but the total could increase should challenges associated with international travel be overcome. Multilateral discussion on travel corridors and bubbles within the region could result in a better recovery curve.
Photo credit: Delhi Airport