Coronavirus statistics snapshot – we leave the dizzy heights of August into the autumnal calm of September. Flight frequencies and capacity decline again, but at levels less than -1% and year-on-year performance improves
It is clear that the tide has turned, but right now it is currently a slow process of air frequency and capacity reductions from the peak levels seen at the start of August. While levels will not likely fall back to the less than 40,000 average daily global frequencies seen in the April to June period, they have certainly now plateaued around the 60,000 level.
This milestone was not quite achieved on an average day in August, but is one which could be surpassed in the day shorter September. This observation though is based on advanced schedules which while becoming a little more realistic have proven to be highly inaccurate throughout the pandemic with significant late churn from airlines.
The Blue Swan Daily analysis of OAG schedule data for the week commencing 31-Aug-2020 shows that global flight frequencies have again reduced, slipping just over 1,750 departures since last week from approaching 410,000 to less than 408,000. The decline may again only be a small percentage, down -0.4% but it does clearly show a plateauing in supply as increasing travel restrictions to manage potential infection spikes hit at a traditional seasonal decline.
While August has been a reoccurring story of weekly declines, a strong stepped growth through July and low reduction levels means that the month has still recorded by far the largest average daily flight schedules since April, up from around 53,000 daily departures in July to just over 59,000.
Positively, the reduction in frequencies and capacity is lower than the seasonal trend and means a favourable situation when making year-on-year observations. Flight frequencies are down -47.0%, a 0.4 percentage point gain on last week, while capacity levels remain down -49.3%, a 0.1 percentage point gain on last week.
This comparison shows that the seasonality in air transportation is as much responsible for the reduced frequency and capacity levels that have delivered a more pessimistic outlook for the industry through August than any of the wider factors. However, data specialists are indicating a strong correlation between the introduction of new travel restrictions and booking interest and as governments continue to favour such process over many other options being discussed by the industry, this will become an increasing influence on proposed flight schedules.
READ MORE via The Blue Swan Daily: Coronavirus statistics snapshot – we leave the dizzy heights of August into the autumnal calm of September. Flight frequencies and capacity decline again, but at levels less than -1% and year-on-year performance improves