Airlines globally added a net 600,000 seats to reach a total of almost 30 million, up about 2% from the previous week, OAG senior analyst John Grant wrote in a report. That’s still a long way off the weekly capacity of about 110 million seats this time last year, but it is an encouraging sign nonetheless.
Northeast Asia is a bright spot. China added 1 million seats to schedules this week, including 800,000 on domestic routes, and is now operating twice as many seats as the U.S. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways (OTC:CPCAY) Ltd. added 40,000 seats and increased frequency by some 120 flights, Grant said.
“China’s domestic capacity stands at 75% of January’s level, the United States at 27% and Russia at 49% of pre COVID-19 levels,” he said. “For anyone interested the U.K. level is now some 4%!”
Some markets are still on a downtrend as travel restrictions are kept in place to contain the coronavirus, which has infected more than 4 million people and killed nearly 290,000. Seat capacity on South Asian airlines dropped 14% this week and is 72% lower than in January, but it could bounce back as India considers restarting flights following a nationwide lockdown, Grant said.