Friday, August 12 will be the busiest day of the year for airlines worldwide, a top analyst has predicted.

John Grant, chief analyst at OAG, calculates that 16.1 million seats are currently being offered for that date. The exact number is likely to change as airlines adjust schedules, with an average of 0.6% of capacity being scrapped each week.

The airline industry’s busiest day before the coronavirus pandemic was also the second Friday in August: August 9, 2019, with data analyst Cirium calculating 17 million passengers took off worldwide. .

The airlines’ actual passenger numbers on August 12, 2022 will be significantly less than that, because about a fifth of the seats are likely to be empty – giving a figure of around 13 million passengers.

Mr. Grant said in 2021, “the busiest day is December 17 which is very unusual”. The last Friday but the day before Christmas 12.5 million seats were offered, with about nine million passengers.

His blog also reported: “After a few weeks moving closer to 90 million seats per week, we’ve finally got there with 90.7 million seats on offer.”

During the pre-pandemic peak week, starting July 29, 2019, capacity reached 119 million seats.

“Despite the breakout numbers, shortages of all kinds around the world are affecting the full recovery of tourism,” he wrote.

As The Independent reported that easyJet will eliminate row 26 on its UK-based Airbus A319 aircraft to reduce the number of seats to 150 – cutting the number of flight attendants needed from four to three.

“In August, that equates to about 60,000 seats and perhaps some higher fares on select services to reduce the number of seats lost,” Mr. Grant predicts. guess.

The UK has seven times as many airline seats as it did a year ago, when the ban on international leisure travel was still in effect.

The capacity of global airlines is currently at 5/6 of the corresponding week in 2019.

Three of the regions with consistently low air traffic actually outperformed 2019 levels: Central & West Africa (up 26%), Central America (up 7%) and Upper South America (up 6%) ).

Japan reported the biggest drop in airline capacity this week with seats down 7%, to about two-thirds of capacity in the same week of 2019. Mr. Grant said: “Japan is currently a weakly recovering market. over 20 countries. ”

The OAG analyst concludes: “Over the next few weeks (with a little luck and an easing of the lockdown in China) we will have up to 95 million seats per week and are confident of holding steady. stay there at least for the next few months as the peak summer season continues.

“We still have a journey ahead, but progress is progress.”

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