released the latest Global Airline Capacity Report this week, a quarterly snapshot of airline activity around the world. OAG collects data from more than 1,000 scheduled airlines daily, to provide an overview of anticipated travel demands. The analysis suggests that North America’s struggling air transport industry is planning its way out of a crisis by making more effective use of capacity on flights. While carriers cut domestic flights by two per cent, they also scheduled 4,000 additional international flights compared with October 2004, adding more than 700,000 available seats.
“These figures show that carriers are trying to be efficient with the flights that remain in their respective schedules,” said Joe Laughlin, OAG’s vice president, sales and service. “International flights produce a higher yield by nature, so it makes sense from a financial standpoint to focus on international travel.”
Globally, some of the largest increases in year-over-year flight frequency occur in the low cost sector. Worldwide, low cost flights are up five per cent over last year, with more than 13,000 additional flights available. Currently, low cost travel accounts for twelve per cent of available flights worldwide.
Within the US, low cost flights are actually down six per cent, which accounts for more than 39,000 flights. However, low cost travel within the US still accounts for the largest number of flights in this sector with a total of 149,669 flights scheduled in October 2005.
US domestic flights are down two per cent from 2004, with more than 19,000 less flights from October 2004. The following airports show the largest decreases over last year:
—Washington Dulles (IAD) -25%
—Chicago Midway (MDW) -19%
—Pittsburgh (PIT) -18%
—Dallas Ft. Worth -12%
Some airports do show major increases in flights compared to October 2004. Airports with the largest increases in the number of flights are:
—Salt Lake City (SLC) +19%
—Houston George Bush (IAH) +13%
—Las Vegas McCarran (LAS) +12%
Like the US, Scandinavia (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden), Italy and France represent the other countries to show decreases in their scheduled domestic flights with a combined total of 3,125 less flights than October 2004. Otherwise, flight frequencies show steady increases over the same period in 2004.
Asia and Africa
Flights to and from Africa are up ten per cent; this month sees a nine per cent increase for flights to and from the Middle East; and flights to and from both Europe and the Asia/Pacific region are up seven per cent.
Central and South America
The number of October flights to and from Central and South America is three per cent up on last year, while the number of flights within the region is one per cent higher.