Year on year decline has not accelerated; 5% fewer flights and 2.7% fewer seats
London – Despite fears of the potential impact of the swine flu virus, statistics from OAG (oagaviation.com), the world’s leading aviation data business, reveal the year-on-year decline in global airline capacity has not accelerated for May 2009 compared to figures for April when the outbreak began. The world’s airlines have scheduled 5% (127,000) fewer flights for May 2009 compared with the same month last year, with a 2.7% drop in seat capacity of 8.3 million fewer seats. Last month, the year-on-year global frequency and capacity figures were down by 5.5% and 3% respectively. The total number of flights scheduled to operate worldwide this month is 2.43 million, offering 298.6 million seats to travellers around the globe.
David Beckerman, vice president OAG Market Intelligence, said, „The airline community is understandably cautious, especially with memories of the devastating effect which the SARS virus had on the airline industry in 2003. So far, our figures are not showing a dramatic downturn in seat capacity; however that’s not to say that airlines and passengers are complacent – far from it. We will need to wait a while until we can see some clear trends and gain some perspective on the situation.“
The figures are revealed in the May 2009 edition of OAG FACTS (Frequency & Capacity Trend Statistics), the dynamic monthly market intelligence tool providing the latest data on current passenger airline activity around the world.
This is the tenth successive month of declines in airline capacity; however the rate of decline is showing signs of flattening, after a dramatic downturn in February this year. Global capacity reductions have remained at 3% for the last 3 months compared to figures for the same months in 2008.
At a regional level, OAG statistics for May show the trends of recent months continuing. The only region with worsening airline seat capacity figures compared to those reported last month is Asia Pacific, although the difference is slight.