Bleak autumn for flight schedules (II)


If you didn’t know it or sense it already, here’s more sadistics showing that the world’s airlines will be in a downturn this fall. All of the world airlines will offer 59.7 million fewer seats in the 4th quarter of 2008 than they did in the closings quarter of 2007, says the Official Airline Guide, The latest figures from OAG’s consolidated database reveal a 7% drop both in the number of flights and in seat capacity for October, November, and December 2008. And the US is hardest hit, with its domestic market accounting for about 20 million of that 60 million figure, or 33% of the global decline in capacity. And over at American Express, they see real pain in New England and the northeast, with flights per week down 3.6% in fall months. Connecticut and New Hampshire are hardest hit, and the three major metro airports of the New York City area down by about 4.5% and the Washington/Baltimore region down by almost 6%.



Steve Casley, chief operating officer of OAG, “It looks quite possible that we may be facing a far more severe global downturn than we have experienced before. The industry’s resilience will be pushed to its limits in the coming months.” Casley notes that a projected 13% decline in Asian seat capacity is “a significant metric that may have wider impact.” The AmEx Business Travel Monitor says that Asia-Pacific fares were up by almost 10% in the second quarter, led by fare increases in Japan.

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