Global airline seat capacity and frequency will both experience solid growth in May, over the same month a year ago, OAG reports. May seat capacity will grow 6 percent and the total number of flights will increase 5 percent over the same month last year.
"The strengthening of the global economy is reflected in May's scheduling data, which shows a healthy increase in the number of airline seats and flights around the world," said Peter von Moltke, CEO of OAG parent UBM Aviation. "Indications are that despite the astonishing volcanic ash disruptions to the air transportation system, this month's scheduled seat capacity and frequency are normal and continue the growing trend the industry has been experiencing for the past nine months."
The total number of airline seats available, worldwide, is 317.5 million in May, 2010, compared to 298.6 million, the same month in 2009. The total number of scheduled flights increased 5 percent to 2.6 million from 2.4 million a year earlier.
Air traffic to and from all regions of the world show increases in May, with strong growth in seat capacity expected to and from Asia-Pacific, with an increase of 9 percent to a total of 14.3 million seats; to and from the Middle East, increasing by 11 percent to 11 million; and to and from Africa, increasing 16 percent to 7.2 million seats.
Seat capacity growth was steady to and from all other regions; increasing 7 percent to and from Europe to a total of 23.6 million; Central and South America by 3 percent to 9.1 million; and North America by 2 percent to 17.5 million seats.
Flights increased to and from, and within all regions except North America, which, again this month, saw a slight decline within the region. Within North America, the number of flights declined 1 percent to a total of 837,944; in 2009 there were 842,986. Flights to and from North America increased 2 percent to a total of 86,797.
Flights to and from Europe increased 8 percent growing to 104,144 flights in May 2010, compared to 96,226 in 2009. Total flights to and from Asia-Pacific grew 10 percent to 58,397 from 53,299; flights to and from Africa increased 17 percent to 37,349; to and from the Middle East by 11 percent to 50,686; and in Central and South America by 3 percent to 56,547.