Post-lockdowns, China drives global aviation recovery, says OAG

26 million seats to be added in June, 6.7 pc growth over May
/ New Delhi
Post-lockdowns, China drives global aviation recovery, says OAG

OAG says that the capacity in terms of seats in the global aviation industry in June is expected to reach 423.3 million, barely 14.2 pc below the corresponding figure in June 2019

Global aviation capacity is expected to continue to grow in June and driving the growth is the Chinese market, which has now reopened after prolonged and fresh lockdowns in cities like Shanghai, says a report by OAG.
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Global aviation data monitoring and analysis firm OAG says that the capacity in terms of seats in the global aviation industry in June is expected to reach 423.3 million, barely 14.2 pc below the corresponding figure in June 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic had brought aviation and travel industries to a standstill.

The latest dataset released by OAG says that the aviation industry has recorded steady increase, month on month, as the capacity in June is set to be 6.7 pc more than in May 2022, meaning addition of 26 million seats on airlines worldwide.

China in driver’s seat

OAG says that the growth in airline capacity is largely being driven by North East Asia (primarily China) where there is a gradual reopening after ongoing lockdowns in Shanghai and other cities. It says that besides China, Europe also continues to see strong growth this month and the entire region is moving towards exceeding the pre-pandemic levels. It adds that Western Europe in particular is just 11.7 pc behind 2019 levels. There are four regions which have seen their 2022 capacity exceed the 2019 levels. These include Central/Western Africa, Central Asia, Central America and Upper South America.

Not just in capacity, China has led the revival in airline frequency growth in June, says OAG, adding that the global growth has been dominated by the Chinese carriers who have added back significant volumes this month. China Southern has increased flights by almost a third, China Eastern by almost half again and Air China by nearly two thirds.

‘‘China Southern is closest to June 2019 levels now, with frequency just 5.9 pc below, whilst Air China is 10.6 pc below and China Eastern 16.8 pc below,’’ says the OAG report.

Spain rides aviation boom

In terms of country pairs for airline capacity and frequency, not surprisingly it is Spain, which has seen 10-fold jump in its tourist arrivals in April 2022, that is right at the top. And Spain-UK remains the largest country pair in the world, with 4.7 million seats in June. Though month on month growth has slowed to 4.9 pc this month. OAG says that just six of the Top 20 largest country pairs are sitting above June 2019 levels, with Greece occupying two of those places with strong capacity growth to Germany and the UK continuing as traveller confidence returns.

UK-Turkey capacity is also seeing Turkey appears at three places in the Top 20, with strong growth across many of its source leisure markets. Again this month the Top 20 country pairs are dominated by European country pairs, with 15 of the 20 operating from countries within Europe.

In terms of airline frequencies, after the two Chinese carriers, Air Canada is next fastest growing this month, with an 11.7 pc uplift in frequency on last month, but remains furthest behind in the Top 20 by frequency against June 2019, with flights remaining 28.8 pc below.


OAG says that the US remains the largest global domestic air market in capacity terms, with capacity sitting just 7 pc below June 2019 and China is next largest, even though it is now 5 pc above June 2019 levels with the significant capacity increase in the domestic market this month. Similarly, India’s domestic market is also recovered, with capacity 4 pc above June 2019. Indonesia remains furthest behind of the Top 10 with capacity still 18 pc below 2019.

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