Air capacity in North America set to rise 4% this summer; Austin, Nashville, San Jose see double-digit growth

Air capacity within and from North America is scheduled to rise by around 4.0% this summer with an additional 28 million departure seats available versus summer 2017. The region’s top 50 airports will be responsible for over two thirds of that growth adding over 20 million seats between them alone.


Highlights:

  • Departure capacity within and from North America is scheduled to rise by around 4.0% this summer;
  • An additional 28 million departure seats are currently scheduled within and from North America versus summer 2017;
  • Norman Y Mineta San Jose International Airport in California, USA will see the largest growth among region’s top 50 airports with a +14.4% growth in departure seats;
  • Growth among the Top 50 airports will track slightly behind the regional average at +3.6%.

Analysis by The Blue Swan Daily of OAG schedule data for the current summer 2018 schedule shows Norman Y Mineta San Jose International Airport in California, USA is set see the largest growth (+14.4%), with Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (+11.6%) and Nashville International Airport (+10.6%) also seeing double-digit rises. Growth among the Top 50 airports will track slightly behind the regional average at +3.6% with only eight of the region’s top 50 airports will see a decline in summer capacity, most by less than -1%.

CHART – The fastest growing airports in North America in summer 2018 are dominated by US airports with Calgary International the sole Canadian facility in the top 10 listSource: The Blue Swan Daily and OAG

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport will be responsible for the largest increase in  capacity and one of five top 50 North American airports to boost its summer inventory by more than one million seats. With an +8.1% growth versus summer 2017, Seattle-Tacoma will see 1.37 million seats, just ahead of the region’a second largest airport, Los Angeles International, where a +4.2% rise will deliver 1.28 million additional departure seats. Newark Liberty International, Boston Logan and Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International are the other airports with seven-digit capacity rises.

CHART – Five North American airports will see summer departure capacity rises of more than one million seats in 2018Source: The Blue Swan Daily and OAG

While the Low Cost Carrier (LCC) sector is driving growth in global markets, in North America it is the mainline airlines that are seeing the largest capacity rises this summer. Our analysis shows that mainline capacity is expected to be up +5.0% this summer, versus a +1.4% rise in LCC capacity. The mainline airlines will account for 70.9% of departure seat capacity in summer 2018, up from 70.2% last summer, according to the data.