South Asia leads the world in H1 air capacity growth; Central and Eastern Europe and East Africa also see double-digit rises

Latest research from The Blue Swan Daily shows that South Asia was the fastest growth region of the world for scheduled airline capacity over the first half of this year with system seats (both departing and arriving) growing +13.4% compared with the first six months of 2017. Analysis of flight schedules from intelligence provider OAG shows that total global capacity grew +6.4% year-on-year in H1 2018 with Central and Eastern Europe (+12.7%) and Eastern Africa (+10.7%) seeing double-digit capacity rises.


Summary:

  • An analysis from The Blue Swan Daily highlights that South Asia (+13.4%),  Central and Eastern Europe (+12.7%) and Eastern Africa (+10.7%) where the fastest growing global markets for system capacity in H1 2108;
  • The report shows an additional 325 million air seats were introduced over the first half of this year, increasing the global daily aviation network to almost 30 million seats;
  • The strong H1 2018 growth rate in North East Asia (+9.9%) could actually see it overtake Western Europe and North America and become the largest global market by seat capacity;
  • Total LCC system seats hit almost 850 million during Q2 2018, rising to 1.6 billion for H1 2018, a 14.8% share of the total market.

An additional 325 million air seats were introduced over the first half of this year, growing the market from almost 5.1 billion seats to over 5.4 billion during the six month period. That is the equivalent of 1.7 million additional seats on average per day, increasing the global daily aviation network to almost 30 million seats.

All but two regions of the world recorded growth in H1 2018 versus H1 2017 with the exceptions being Upper South America which declined a nominal -0.1% and the Caribbean which saw a -6.4% fall in capacity.

The strong growth in South Asia could see the region overtake the Middle East as the fifth largest global air market by capacity during the full year. Meanwhile, the growth rate in North East Asia (+9.9%) could actually see it overtake Western Europe and North America and become the largest global market by seat capacity.

Interestingly, Western Europe has already slipped to be the third largest global market in H1 2018, but was again actually the largest market in Q2, buoyed by the start of the Northern Hemisphere summer schedule.

CHART – The global aviation market by region in H1 2018 and how it compares with H1 2017Source: The Blue Swan Daily and OAG

The growth of Low Cost Carrier operations across the world has seen this service type reach a new high in Q2 2018 as the number of seats offered have more than doubled since the start of the decade. Total LCC system seats hit almost 850 million during the three month period, rising to 1.6 billion for H1 2018, a 14.8% share of the total market.

CHART – The growth of the Low Cost Carrier market in terms of both system seats and share of total seat capacitySource: The Blue Swan Daily and OAG