Powered by China, North-East Asia reclaims top spot in airline capacity: OAG

Global airline capacity rises to 440.4 million
/ New Delhi
global airline capacity
Powered by China, North-East Asia reclaims top spot in airline capacity: OAG

OAG says that this February, the aviation market in North-East Asia has a capacity of over 108 million seats

Four years after the outbreak of pandemic, North-East Asia has reclaimed the top spot as the busiest air travel region in the world, with over 108 million seats, leaving North America way behind at 96 million seats.
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The searing recovery in North-East Asia, led by China, has powered the region back to the top spot as the busiest aviation market in the world, over four years after it was displaced from the top spot due to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.

Aviation data aggregator and consultancy firm OAG says that this February, the aviation market in North-East Asia has a capacity of over 108 million seats, a spike of over 23.7 pc as compared to February last year when the region accounted for 87.3 million seats.

With this, it has displaced North America that has been the dominant market for the past four years. The total capacity in North America stands at 96 million seats, a growth of 5.6 pc over 91 million seats in the corresponding month last year.

OAG says that the growth in North East Asia is powered by China, which had so far been in a slumber. China recorded a 16.3 pc rise in its domestic aviation capacity which stands at 72.3 million currently, up from 62.1 million seats.

The United States, which remains the largest market, saw a more modest growth of 3.7 pc to see its domestic seat capacity rise to 76.8 million seats. In one year, China has narrowed the gap sharply, from over 12 million seats in February 2023 to just over 4.6 million now.

Global capacity will reach 440.4 million this month, an increase of 13.1 pc on the same month in 2023, which equates to 51 million more seats. Every region of the world is growing this month compared to the same month in 2023.

OAG says that the total number of flights, one-way, has risen to 5.28 million since January 1, with an average of 94,276 flights a day. It says that the US legacy carriers American Airlines (AA), Delta Air Lines (DL) and United Airlines (UA) remain the three largest carriers in the world in terms of frequencies this month.

All three of them added capacity and frequency with AA rising 7.4 pc, United by 5.4 pc and Delta by 4 pc. However, in terms of the top three carriers with the highest percentage growth rates this month, all three are Chinese carriers reflecting the strong recovery in the Chinese aviation market, Air China is up 31.8 pc, China Eastern Airlines up by 23.7 pc and China Southern Airlines up 19 pc.

OAG says that this month, Mexico-USA remains the largest international country pair with 4.3 million seats, which is 19.7 pc higher than in February 2023. It adds that the top four country pairs in terms of highest percentage growth compared to the same month last year are all Chinese markets. Japan-China has grown by 895 pc, South Korea-China by 649 pc, Thailand-China has grown by 443 pc and Hong Kong-China by 120 pc.

OAG says that this strong growth in Chinese markets highlights how the China outbound market continues to recover.

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