Travel intelligence firm, OAG, said over the first two months of 2021, capacity remains constricted as airlines continued to limit operations as demand remains weak.
OAG said airlines have operated or scheduled 451.5 million seats, a 19% reduction in capacity compared to schedules published at the beginning of the year.
"At the beginning of 2021, we were expecting capacity of 553.8 million, we ended up with 451.5 million; a 19% reduction in capacity," OAG's John Grant said.
The current capacity for March 2021 is scheduled at 278.2 million seats — also down from the 380.8 million seats that were operated in March last year, dropping by 26.9%.
"March follows the same pattern as February where we saw capacity shakedown by some 8% then we could be looking at a capacity of around 256 million seats for the month; which would be around one-third lower than last year’s level," OAG further said.
The report went on to say that nine of the 17 geographic regions continue to operate at less than 50% of their pre-COVID-19 levels with Western Europe the worst performing region on the planet with more than three quarters of capacity lost. Lower South America, on the other hand, led the growth among six regions with 5.9% increase capacity increase.
According to OAG, the forward looking capacity reflects airlines hopes for demand to pick up as vaccination roll outs continue and consumer confidence hopefully rebuilds.