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Global Airline Capacity Expected to Increase by Less Than 15% in 2021

Global Airline Capacity Unlikely to Reach Pre-Pandemic Levels Before 2023 at Earliest

Global airline capacity continues to be stuck just below the 80 million weekly seat mark, with a modest increase in capacity taking us back to 79 million, thanks largely to capacity increases in North East Asia. It is now very unlikely that we will trend back above the 80 million mark this year, as airlines adjust schedules further and store whatever cash they have generated for the winter season.

Total capacity to the year's end is currently standing at 3.7 billion seats compared to the 3.2 billion scheduled in 2020, a 15% increase in what was supposed to be the bounce-back year. When compared to 2019, that would be around a 36% drop, indicating we have a long way to go! And just to make anyone feel as depressed as a Newcastle supporter (if there are such things), airlines this week axed another 17 million seats from their schedules to the end of the year.

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