OAG Reports a 3% Drop in Global Airline Capacity for April

LONDON, April 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- - European Schedules Down by 8%; Asia Relatively Stable - Flights and Capacity Within North America Continue to Decline Sharply - Middle East and Africa Buck the Trend With Healthy Growth in Air Travel

The world's airlines have scheduled 6% fewer flights for April 2009 compared with the same month last year, with a 3% drop in seat capacity, according to the latest statistics from OAG (http://www.oagaviation.com), the world's leading aviation data business and part of UBM Aviation. This is the ninth successive month of declines, and represents a reduction of more than 136,000 flights and 9 million seats year on year. The total number of flights scheduled to operate worldwide this month is 2.34 million, offering 287.3 million seats to travelers around the globe.

The figures are revealed in the April 2009 edition of OAG FACTS (Frequency & Capacity Trend Statistics), the dynamic monthly market intelligence tool providing the latest data on current passenger airline activity around the world.

Flight schedules within Europe are down by 8% compared to April 2008 , with 50,854 fewer flights. Capacity within the region is down by 7% with 4.7 million fewer seats on offer. The UK shows a steep decline with a reduction in domestic flights and capacity of 13% and 14% respectively, while international operations are down by 10% (11,237 fewer flights) and 9% (1.6 million fewer seats).

Figures for North America show downturns of 9% in domestic frequencies and 8% in capacity, with a 6% drop for flights and capacity to and from the region. Flights within Central/ South America have 5% less capacity, while Asia is relatively stable with a 1% drop in capacity to and from the region and a welcome rise of 3% in the number of seats offered on services within the region.

The Middle East region, however, is enjoying a significant upward trend on all counts. Flights and capacity for travel within the region are up by 12% and 11% respectively, while the number of flights and seats offered to and from the region are both showing growth year on year of 15% for April 2009 . This represents an additional 5,701 flights and 1.2 million seats on offer.

Flights to and from Africa are up by 6% with a 7% increase in capacity, although flights within the region are down by 1.6% with virtually no change in capacity.

David Beckerman , VP Market Intelligence at OAG, said: "The OAG figures for April reveal some sharp contrasts. The Middle East and Africa , and Asia to a lesser degree, are showing growth, while Europe and North America continue to show steep declines. These contrasts can be seen also on the key long-haul routes, where transatlantic and transpacific services are down significantly compared with this time last year, while services between Western Europe and the Middle East have increased by 16%."

OAG FACTS uses interactive graphs to display a visual trend of the performance of a specific airport, route, country or region from 2001 onwards, sourced from OAG's consolidated database of global airline schedules. For a more detailed review of this month's OAG FACTS statistics with charts, please visit http://www.oagaviation.com/aviation-reports/reports-facts-0409.htm.

OAG, part of UBM Aviation (http://www.ubmaviation.com), provides essential aviation workflow data and analytics sourced from its comprehensive proprietary airline schedules, fleet and MRO databases. UBM Aviation is a division of United Business Media Limited (http://www.unitedbusinessmedia.com )

Notes to Editors

For media enquiries and a copy of the full Executive Summary as a Word document, please contact:

Alison Pickering , Corporate Communications, UBM Aviation, alison.pickering@ubmaviation.com +44(0)1582-695477

SOURCE UBM Aviation

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