ANALYSIS: Leading airline markets by capacity June 2014

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Capacity on intra-Asian routes continues to be increased sharply and to rival North America as the biggest market, Innovata schedules data for June shows.

Airlines are lifting capacity, as measured by ASKs, almost 10% in June compared with the same month last year. Airline capacity in the biggest market, intra-North American, increased only fractionally as that region's carriers continue to exercise a tight grip on capacity.

It means the intra-Asian market is positioned just behind North America as the second biggest market by capacity, having overtaken it in May.

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June schedules data underscores the recent strengthening in share among Oneworld carriers following the switch by TAM and US Airways from Star Alliance. Innovata schedules show Oneworld carrier capacity in ASKs is nearly 40% higher and now accounts for an 18% share of total capacity. The alliance has also recently added SriLankan Airlines, and last autumn Qatar Airways entered the grouping

SkyTeam, which has also expanded its membership over recent years, holds a 19% share, while Star Alliance comprises 23% after the loss of TAM and US Airways. Star carriers had accounted for around a 26% share of global capacity prior to the recent moves.

A further 40% of capacity remains outside the three main global alliances, split almost equally between low-cost sector carriers and other unaligned carriers. Low-cost sector carrier capacity increased around 12% compared with the same month last year.

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Despite their continued tight capacity discipline, the US majors United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines remain the three largest carriers by capacity, June schedules data from Innovata shows. All three lifted capacity less than 2% compared with the same month last year, though US Airways, which is now part of American, increased capacity 4%. American, when US Airways figures are included, tops the list of carriers by capacity in June.

Air France and Lufthansa both pulled back capacity fractionally in June compared with the same month in 2013. British Airways capacity is running around 8% higher than at the same stage last year

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Delta's Atlanta Hartsfield hub remains the biggest airport in the world by weekly seats, just ahead of Tokyo Haneda and Beijing. London Heathrow, which this month opened its rebuilt Terminal 2, is the fourth largest airport, Innovata schedules data shows.

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