Mon 17 Dec 2007 – OAG (Official Airline Guide), the global flight information and data solutions company, reports a record number of scheduled airline flights will have taken place worldwide in 2007, representing an increase of 4.7% on the previous year and the biggest growth since 2004, when the sector was emerging from the effects of 9/11 and SARS.
The number of scheduled flights by airlines, including low-cost carriers, will have reached 29,560,246 by the end of the year, representing an average of 80,987 individual take-offs per day worldwide. Global capacity for 2007 was up 6.1% year-on-year to 3.5 billion seats, which equates to enough seats for 9.6 million people to fly every day.
Analysis by region shows the biggest growth was in Asia/Pacific where number of flights rose by 6.8% to 6.1 million, followed by a 5.8% growth in Europe to 6.9 million flights with North America registering a 2.4% growth to 11.1 million flights.
According to OAG’s global schedules database, the world’s airlines introduced 3,732 new or reinstated services during the year, up from 2,856 in 2006 and representing a year-on-year increase of 31%. “We have yet to see the impact of Open Skies between Europe and North America, so this upward trend in flight operations and seat offer looks set to continue in 2008,” commented Alan Glass, CEO of OAG.
The world’s low-cost carriers scheduled nearly 4.6 million flights in 2007, an increase of 20.1% over the previous year. OAG’s analysis reveals a year-on-year rise of 7.1% to 2 million low-cost flights within North America and a 26.7% increase to 1.4 million low-cost flights within Europe. From a relatively low base, Asia/Pacific recorded a 39.2% rise to 0.7 million.
“If this trend continues, then it’s quite likely that within two years Europe will equal North America in low-cost volumes, a scenario we would not have contemplated even five years ago,” said Glass.
Low-cost operations during 2007 represented 16% of all flights worldwide and 19% of all seats offered globally, up from 14% and 17% respectively in 2006. Within Europe, the low-cost sector accounted for 20% of all flights, while in North America the figure was 18% and in Asia/Pacific 12%.
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