Contact Us
Contact Us
Turkish and Pegasus airlines Istanbul Airport

Industry trends, on the fly

on the fly: The changing face of global aviation – the ten largest airline markets

October 23, 2023

A comparison between 2023 & 2019 global seat capacity.

Cirium on the fly

The changing face of global aviation – the ten largest airline markets


Below is a grid comparing seat capacity today (Q4, 2023) vs. just before the pandemic (Q4, 2019). The grid pairs the ten largest airline markets in the world (based on total seat capacity). Reading horizontally, you can see for example that capacity between the U.S. and China is down 84%. Domestic data is highlighted in green (for example, U.S. domestic capacity is up 4%). These are bi-dectional totals, so you’ll see each data point twice (i.e. U.S.-China down 84% and China-U.S. down 84%). All data is sourced from our Diio system, the leading airline planning system across the industry.

A few big trends are immediately evident. All the way to the right, look at how international capacity to and from Turkiye has grown sharply in the past four years. For that, thank Turkish Airlines and Pegasus, both expanding rapidly to take advantage of booming tourism. Turkiye’s domestic capacity, however, is down.

Not every country pair is connected with nonstop flights. Note how Brazil is unconnected to several of the world’s largest markets, which highlights its challenging geography. Indonesia has this problem too.

Now look at Germany and how much capacity has been lost since the Covid crisis. Amazingly, nearly 50% of its domestic capacity is gone. China, by contrast, has much more domestic capacity than four years ago but its international capacity is down dramatically.

Never miss an on the fly story. Sign-up to receive an email notice when a new story is published.

See more aviation analytics on the fly posts, here. For a closer look, schedule a demo.

Media contact:

RELX logo