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Global Airline Capacity Up 4% Compared to Pre-Pandemic Levels

Q2 2019 was the last ‘normal’ year before the COVID-19 pandemic

Multiple aircraft parked in Moses Lake, Wash. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Katie Zera)

Global airline capacity worldwide in Q2 2024 has surpassed that of Q2 2019, the last “normal” year for flights pre-pandemic, according to data from OAG.

The capacity for Q2 2024 is up about 4% over Q2 2019 for seats on international and domestic flights with about 1.51 billion seats on the schedule compared to 1.45 billion seats.

United Kingdom-based airline industry data provider OAG found that the majority of regions have recovered capacity from 2019 except for South East Asia, Eastern and Central Europe, Southwest Pacific, and Southern Africa.

OAG found:

  • South East Asia had 128.7 million seats offered in Q2 2019 but only 114.2 million seats offered in Q2 2024, an 11.3% decrease.
  • Eastern and Central Europe had 59 million seats offered in Q2 2019 but only 50.9 million seats offered in Q2 2024, a 13.8% decrease.
  • Southwest Pacific had 35.7 million seats offered in Q2 2019 but only 34.9 million seats offered in Q2 2024, a 2.1% decrease.
  • Southern Africa had 10.1 million seats offered in Q2 2019 but only 8.5 million seats offered in Q2 2024, a 15.5% decrease.

The United States aviation market remains the largest in the world with 310.9 million seats scheduled for this Q2, a 6.5% increase over Q2 2019 when 291.8 million seats were offered. Of the top 10 country markets, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Indonesia haven’t recovered to Q2 2019 levels.

OAG found:

  • Japan had 53.4 million seats offered in Q2 2019 but only 49.9 million seats offered in Q2 2024, a 6.5% decrease.
  • The United Kingdom had 47.7 million seats offered in Q2 2019 but only 47.2 million seats offered in Q2 2024, a 1% decrease.
  • Germany had 42.1 million seats offered in Q2 2019 but only 35.6 million seats offered in Q2 2024, a 15.5% decrease.
  • Indonesia had 37.7 million seats offered in Q2 2019 but only 34.6 million seats offered in Q2 2024, an 8% decrease.

Germany’s global flight capacity decline can be attributed to travel pattern changes, reductions in domestic capacity, and one of the slowest long-haul market recoveries post-pandemic, OAG said. Japan relies on China for capacity and the operational challenge of Russian overflights for some airlines.

United Airlines is the top airline by capacity, up 5.7% in Q2 2024 over Q2 2019, according to OAG, while Delta Air Lines and easyJet have yet to exceed Q2 2019.

OAG found:

  • Delta had 62.7 million seats offered in Q2 2019 but only 61.9 million seats offered in Q2 2024, a 1.3% decrease.
  • easyJet had 28.9 million seats offered in Q2 2019 but only 28.5 million seats offered in Q2 2024, a 1.2% decrease.
Brinley Hineman

Author

  • Brinley Hineman

    Brinley Hineman covers general assignment news. She previously worked for the USA TODAY Network, Newsday and The Messenger. She is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and is from West Virginia. She lives in Brooklyn with her poodle Franklin.

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