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China, US lead domestic airline regrowth. In Europe, it’s LCCs
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China, US lead domestic airline regrowth. In Europe, it’s LCCs

Chinese airlines are beginning to show significant increases in the number of domestic seats on offer as the domestic market starts to open up. China Southern and China Eastern are now offering more than 1.5 million seats per week each with other Chinese airlines also increasing their offer as people start to rethink their travel plans and venture out.

Southwest Airlines is the largest US operator, also with over 1.5 million weekly seats but a lot to do before they manage to regain the levels from pre-COVID-19 days.

Internationally there are now some signs of a few pockets of Europe starting to open up so Ryanair is back as the largest airline by international seat capacity, although still under 1 million seats per week, followed by Wizz Air.

Domestic Airline Rankings led by China
China dominates domestic markets around the world with five airlines all in the top 10 largest domestic carriers by seats. China Southern and China Eastern top the list with more than 1.5 million seats each for the week commencing 18-May-2020. Domestic markets are showing they will be the first to bounce back from the pandemic. China, having nearly washed through its infection rate is a clear example of this.

Southwest Airlines remains the largest domestic US operator this week with 1,526,228 million seats, however these figures are dramatically down from 2.9 million seats achieved in Apr-2020. American Airlines, which is traditionally the largest airline by number of domestic seats, is now in fifth place with just over 1.2 million seats. Both carriers’ capacity has bottomed out and no further capacity cuts expected.

Apart from Southwest, American, Delta and United, the rest of the top 15 in terms of domestic seat numbers are all from Asia, reflecting the recovery from that part of the world with domestic operations being the first to slowly recover…

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