Airline capacity back to 85% of pre-Covid levels by year end, predicts FCM

Airline capacity back to 85% of pre-Covid levels by year end, predicts FCM

The international travel bounce back is predicted to continue for the rest of the year with global airline seat capacity forecast to be back to 85% of pre-Covid levels by the end of 2022, according to FCM Consulting’s latest Global Quarterly Trend Report.

The report reveals that the top 20 corporate airlines across the world are on the rebound, with a global average of 87% of seats offered in 2022, versus 2019.

‘There are now 141 countries completely open to the fully vaccinated. Our data shows the advance booking days globally averaged 26 days in Q2 in 2022, compared to 18 days in Q1 of this year,’ says FCM Consulting general manager Felicity Burke.

She says the bounce back signifies the pent-up demand for people wanting to travel for both business and leisure.

‘Our H2-2022 forecasts have the majority of global regions 10% below 2019 seat volumes, but North America and South America are defying these stats, with both continents expected to be 4% above 2019 levels by November this year.’

Burke says that closer to home, and in terms of seats offered, the New Zealand domestic market is forecast to be back to 79% of pre-Covid levels for the full 2022 year. Similarly, across the Tasman, Australia is predicted to be back to 83% domestically for the year.

‘When it comes to airfares globally and across the APAC region, they have fluctuated across the board with average ticket purchase price increases on routes like Auckland to Melbourne but with reductions between Melbourne and Sydney for the past quarter.

‘It’s more critical than ever that corporate procurement teams have well-developed travel category plans and are working closely with their travel management company to ensure travellers get the best options.’

(The report draws on global data sourced from FCM bookings, for travel during April to June 2022 (Q2-2022) and uses Cirium aviation data as of 19 July 2022 and STR data 20 July 2022.)