Indian aviation grows bucking global trend: OAG

Global growth rate of flights continues to slowdown: OAG
By TBM Staff | Mumbai

The world’s airlines are scheduled to operate just one per cent more flights for July 2008 compared with the same month last year. According to the latest statistics from OAG (Official Airline Guide), the world’s authority on flight information, this represents an additional 34,800 flights. Capacity for July is up by three per cent year on year.

The total number of flights scheduled to operate worldwide this month is 2.64 million, offering 318.3 million seats to travellers around the globe. Within this global figure of all scheduled passenger flight operations, the low cost sector accounts for 459,000 flights (17 per cent) and 68.3 million seats (21 per cent). Frequencies and capacity in the low cost sector are both showing 13 per cent growth for July 2008 v/s July 2007.

Within the United States, domestic activity has dropped 2 per cent overall or 21,500 fewer flights this month, resulting in 818,000 fewer seats. This is despite increases in low cost frequencies and capacity within the US of four per cent and three per cent respectively.

Figures for Europe and Asia Pacific indicate these regions are faring better at present, with intra-Europe and intra-Asia Pacific figures both showing a three per cent increase in the number of flights (up by 18,268 and 15,975 respectively) and a four per cent rise in capacity of 3.03 million and 3.07 million more seats year on year.

Steve Casley, Chief Operating Officer, OAG commented, “The OAG figures for July reveal signs of an impending downturn in the aviation industry. While some regions continue to show steady growth, the impact from the current climate in the United States is already contributing to an overall slowdown in the global figures and on the key long-haul routes between North America and hubs in Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. The full impact will be clearer when we publish our forecast for Quarter Four.”

The figures were revealed in the latest OAG Aviation Statistics, a regular snapshot of airline activity around the world. Flight information and data solutions company OAG collates data from more than 900 scheduled airlines, on a daily basis, which gives an accurate overview of anticipated travel demand.

The transatlantic route, traditionally one of strong growth, is showing just one per cent increase in flights and two per cent in capacity for July. Similarly, there is just one per cent rise in the number of transpacific flights and seats. Flights between Western Europe and the Middle East, however, are up by 11 per cent, and there is a rise of six per cent for flights between Western Europe and Asia Pacific.

India continues to show year-on-year growth far exceeding the average. For this month, there is a 34 per cent increase in flights to and from India (4,545 extra flights representing 870,000 more seats) and a 12 per cent rise in domestic operations (5,341 flights, 576,000 seats). The Middle East is showing a 20 per cent growth in international operations (7,248 flights and 1.4 million seats), but a drop of -four per cent on routes within the region.

Other territories showing a notably significant increase in year-on-year capacity are the Russian Federation (621,000 more domestic seats, 558,000 more international seats); France, with 428,000 more international seats, of which 84 per cent is in the low cost sector; UAE with 694,000 more international seats, largely driven by continued growth of Emirates and Etihad; Canada, with 321,000 more domestic seats, largely attributable to WestJet and Porter; and Poland, with 492,000 more international seats, of which around half are in the low cost sector.

Aircraft fleet data from OAG reveals there are 40,197 planes operating worldwide this month compared to 38,886 the same time last year, an increase of 3.4 per cent. North America accounts for 36 per cent of the global market, followed by Europe with 27 per cent. Globally, there are more than 8,100 aircraft on order this month, a rise of just under 20 per cent compared to this time last year. North America is the only region showing a decline year on year, with 0.6 per cent fewer aircraft on order compared with July 2007. Asia Pacific accounts for the largest share of new orders (33 per cent) and the Middle East is showing the largest year on year percentage increase at 74.3 per cent (347 more aircraft on order than a year ago).

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About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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