OAG: Airline capacities continue to decline; US carriers lead the cutbacks

According to OAG’s (Official Airline Guide) March 2009 report, the world’s airlines have scheduled 4.9% fewer flights for March 2009 compared with the same month last year, with a 3.3% drop in capacity, according to the latest statistics from OAG, the world’s leading aviation data business.

This is the eighth successive month of declines, and represents a reduction of more than 122,000 flights and 9.8 million seats year on year. The total number of flights scheduled to operate worldwide this month is 2.38 million, offering 289.8 million seats to travellers around the globe.

Within this global figure of all scheduled passenger flight operations, the low cost sector accounts for 419,000 flights (18%) and 61.9 million seats (21%). Frequencies and capacity in the low cost sector are both showing a marginal 0.8% decline for March 2009 compared to March 2008.

Global airline schedules for the first quarter 2009 have dropped by 6.7%, or 491,000 fewer flights, the first since the double impact of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the burst of the dot.com bubble. Capacity for this quarter also has fallen by 4.4%, representing a reduction of 38.6 million seats.

Download the full report here.

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