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Industry trends, on the fly

on the fly: Capacity Trends at American, United, and Delta

August 11, 2023

Analyzing the increased capacity of the Big Three US airlines

Analytics on the fly


The three largest U.S. airlines are all flying bigger schedules this summer than they were last summer. But where exactly are they growing? Let’s use Diio Cirium schedule data to find out.

Below is a look at the ten busiest airports by seats for American, United, and Delta, including their leading hub airports. Most are up in capacity this summer versus last, though American’s schedule in New York is an exception. That’s mostly due to its joint venture with JetBlue, though this venture is ending after a court ruling.

Also shown below is a comparison with the third quarter of 2019, before the pandemic. In this case, American has grown a lot at New York JFK, where Diio shows several newly-introduced international routes like Delhi, Doha, and Athens. United’s top growth market since 2019 is Denver, now its largest hub. For Delta, Boston stands out.

A few other points to highlight here: Notice how large Atlanta and Dallas-Fort Worth are compared to other hubs. Charlotte, meanwhile, is the country’s third largest hub operation. United has four hubs with more than 5m seats this quarter. Some hubs, like San Francisco for United and Detroit for Delta, are still below 2019 capacity levels in part because of a big reduction in flying to China.

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NEXT ON THE FLY: Capacity Trends at Lufthansa Group, Air France/KLM, and IAG

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