OAG reveals major upturn in global airline capacity – 26/01/05

INTERNATIONAL. Demand for world air travel is picking up fast, according to the latest figures from OAG*, with US, Asia Pacific and Middle Eastern markets leading the way.

The world’s airlines will operate nearly 2.25 million flights in January alone, almost 88,000 more than in the same month last year.

To and from the UK, airlines will be operating an extra 3,572 flights – equivalent to offering more than one million extra tickets for sale than in the same month in 2004.

“Most of the airline industry has faced difficult financial circumstances,” said Duncan Alexander, Managing Director of OAG Business Development, “so these latest figures will be widely welcomed. They’re a clear indication of airline confidence in a continuing market recovery.”

The statistics are revealed in OAG’s latest Global Airline Capacity Bulletin, a quarterly snapshot of airline activity around the world. OAG collates data from 1,000 airlines on a daily basis, which enables it to provide accurate statistics on anticipated travel demand.

For example, airlines will operate more than 839,000 flights within the US during January. This domestic capacity has increased by +4%, which equates to nearly 28,000 additional flights. There will be 6,744 additional international flights to and from the US and Canada; this represents a +6% increase on January 2004, highlighting the revival of travel demand for North America.

The number of flights to and from the Asia Pacific region is up more than 4,000, or +12%, on January 2004; but the number of flights within the region has increased +7%, with an additional 29,695 flights scheduled this month.

“The terrible tsunami tragedy has had a major impact upon many aspects of local infrastructure. However it is too early to evaluate the impact on demand for scheduled air travel,” said Alexander. “Two airports – in Phuket and Penang – suffered significant initial scheduled flight cancellations. OAG is in constant communication with its airline customers and will continue to monitor the situation.”

The third major growth area was the Middle East. The number of flights operated to and from the region this month will be more than +15% higher than in January 2004, bolstered by a +6% increase in flights within the Middle East.

Region and Frequency Variation (January 2005 vs Jan 2004)

Worldwide: +4%
To/from USA & Canada (excluding domestic US and Canada): +6%
US Domestic: +3%
To/from UK (excluding domestic): +4%
UK Domestic: +4%
To/from Central & South America: +9%
Within Central & South America: +1%
To/from Europe: +8%
Within Europe: +3%
To/from Asia Pacific: +12%
Within Asia Pacific: +7%
To/from Africa: +7%
Within Africa : +6%
To/from China (including Hong Kong & Macao): +13%
Within China (including Hong Kong & Macao): +12%
To/from Middle East: +15%
Within Middle East: +6%

For further information about OAG please contact Duncan Alexander at OAG on +44 1582 695476; or by e-mail at dalexander@oag.com; or Margareta Stanley at DBA on +44 207 930 8033 or e-mail info@nchl.demon.co.uk

For more detailed OAG statistical analysis on capacity trends please call Margareta Stanley at DBA on +44 207 930 8033.

*About OAG:

OAG works closely with The Moodie Report, which publishes regular summaries and extracts of OAG findings by agreement.

OAG is a global content management company specialising in travel and transport. Its expertise is in managing large amounts of data and building applications and products to get that information into the hands of people who need it. The company holds a breadth of travel-related content. It is best known for its airline schedules database, which holds flight details for 1,000 airlines and more than 3,500 airports and is updated about ten times a second.

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