Coronavirus kills airline uplift

BANGKOK, 12 February 2020: Two-thirds of international airline capacity to and from China vanished into thin air since 20 January according to the latest OAG market update.

Last week OAG reported the most dramatic reduction in capacity ever seen in one market; one week later, its report now shows the coronavirus has resulted in two-thirds of international capacity to and from China being cancelled.

“In less than four weeks the number of weekly international seats operated from China has fallen by some 1.4 million seats since the week commencing 20 January,” OAG’s blogger John Grants writes in his weekly analysis.

“In comparative terms that reduction in capacity is more than all of the scheduled international capacity planned from France this week,” he reports

Japan’s Olympic Hopes Damaged

“With the Summer 2020 Olympics only 165 days away, Japan was already facing some real challenges in reaching its stated ambition of 40 million visitors by 2021. No single market has been impacted by coronavirus as much as Japan where scheduled airline capacity has fallen by some 200,000 per week compared to the week of the 20 January; a 60% fall in capacity in four weeks. A week-on-week comparison shows some 118,000 scheduled seats dropped from China to Japan.

“Thailand, which relies heavily on visitors from China, has also been badly hit with similarly nearly 200,000 fewer seats to China than four weeks ago.

“In absolute terms, major country markets such as Indonesia (-92%), Singapore (-89%), Hong Kong China (80%) and the United States (-86%) have all seen dramatic reductions in capacity over the four-week period.

“The impact of Coronavirus “ripples” out from China. Cathay Dragon cut capacity by some 63,000 seats from China compared to the week of 20 January. Other carriers such as Korean Air, Asiana Airlines and All Nippon Airways have seen capacity nearly halved as they attempt to balance the need to maintain operations with dramatic reductions in demand.

“It Can’t Get Worse….Can It? – we hope not! However, there are still some 718,000 scheduled seats planned to operate this week from China, which is similar to the planned outbound capacity from the whole of Greece this week,” says Grant

“Our expectation is that international capacity from China may again fall over the next few days but that we have seen the worst of the cuts with airlines having responded quickly to the virus.”

(Source: OAG John Grant)

For the full report with charts visit—KENrN6mhjNvUtszrj946xi1gOd82ovBqrHBu-zKjLGHjob_4JncFXqjtdfY77-s4LIMoIhO4dlgPDUZ7i_ZZzJKBuw&_hsmi=83114414