09 May 2009

Capacity continues to fall – dramatically – Are we there yet?

I have just spent nearly a week in the UK and have been looking at the current situation of the market. I think we all know that premium traffic is just a disaster. Last week British Airways announced a 2:1 sale on business class. This on top of their free seats for SMEs.

Capacity continues to fall globally. On this scale, the world's airlines have cut 6% flights for April 2009 Y/Y with a 3% drop in seat capacity. According to the latest statistics from OAG, frequencies and capacity within the UK for April are down year on year by 13% and 14% respectively, the last time the April figures for the UK were lower than this was in 2001. International services to and from the UK are down by 10%. The LCC sector is not immune either with a 12% reduction in capacity. In the USA another metric is the reduction of the number of routes. In one year according to anna aero the number has dropped domestically by 300.

So have we reached the bottom yet? Sorry – I don’t think so. With a bumper summer being promised for the UK – I don’t see people opening their wallets for flights. Instead they are going to be spending it in their back gardens and working on some DIY. This past April – while not the warmest on record was the 10th warmest April ever recorded. People are not going to be too keen to travel….

Of course if this week’s Bank Holiday is anything to go by – then we know that every bank Holiday this summer will be guaranteed to rain!


No comments: