How is the Europe-East Asia airline market performing?
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While COVID-19 remains an uncomfortable reality, its impact on aviation is fading in many markets, including some intercontinental markets. Between Europe and North America, for example, data from Cirium’s Diio system shows a mere 14% decline in flights between this year and 2019, the last full year before the pandemic. Looking just at current schedules for the fourth quarter of this year, Europe-North America flights are just 3% fewer versus the same quarter in 2019.
The story is very different, however, between Europe and East Asia, the latter comprising greater China, Japan, Korea, and the ten ASEAN-member countries (i.e., Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, etc.). In this market, the number of scheduled flights this year is down a massive 70% from 2019. The decline is 58% for just the fourth quarter.
Ongoing travel restrictions in North Asia, especially China, is the main reason for the absence of revival in the Europe-Asia market. In addition, the closure of Russian airspace to most airlines has meant operating routes between the two regions is now longer and more expensive.
As you can see below, Singapore Airlines is now the leader in connecting East Asia with Europe, thanks to nonstops from Changi airport to 11 European cities. Like Turkish Airlines, Singapore Airlines hasn’t downsized in the Europe-Asia market nearly as much as others. The Lufthansa Group, for one, which previously led the market, today flies just a third of the Asian flights than it did pre-Covid.
So, what are the busiest airlines in the Europe-East Asia market (today vs. pre-pandemic)?
NEXT WEEK: What are the latest US airline capacity trends?
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