Airline capacity is expected to reach around 87 per cent of 2019 levels by the end of this year, according to aviation data firm OAG.
OAG said that the current consensus is that the industry will reach 4.8 billion seats during 2022, which would be a 31 per cent increase on 2021 as the sector has bounced back strongly in many parts of the world, particularly in Europe and North America.
Chief analyst John Grant said the sector had seen a “return of stability” to airline schedules in recent weeks with less volatility since early September.
“Continued confidence in the market is reflected in airline capacity broadly remaining unchanged week-on-week through to the year-end with some modest increases in capacity reported,” added Grant.
OAG figures show that weekly total airline seats in western Europe during mid-October reached around 22 million, which was down by around 9.5 per cent on the same week in 2019 but up by 37 per cent on 2021.
Many airlines, particularly budget carriers, will start cutting back their flights for the winter schedule from the end of October. OAG said that Ryanair and easyJet will cut seat numbers by 25 per cent and 27 per cent respectively next month compared to this week’s flying schedules.
Grant said the summer 2022 season had seen a “record revenue-generating period for many airlines and for many others and airports a daily battle with available resources”.