The last week of the 2021 summer season brings the usual mix of changes in airline capacity, as some markets continue their recovery and others suffer another round of short-term cuts. In the round, the ups and downs leave us with 78.5 million seats for sale this week, a near 1% reduction and still 27% below 2019 levels. Ironically, as we enter the winter season there are signs that the first few weeks of November could break through the 80 million weekly capacity mark. As airlines add more capacity back on the North Atlantic, South East Asia shows signs of a recovery, and airlines in Australia are planning the resumption of international services earlier than had been expected.
With October coming to an end and before we get too spooked by Halloween, we have peeked into 2022 to look at the current scheduled airline capacity for the first few months of next year. Capacity for January 2022 stands at 400 million seats, which would represent a 62% increase on this year. But however optimistic you are, that is not going to be the final number - apologies for breaking that news so early. Each week we continue to see three-month forward capacity being cut by around 5 million seats, and whilst that is just one-third of the rate seen a few months ago, we should expect that to continue for the next few months despite the improving market messages around lockdowns.
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