China’s airline capacity has jumped to near pre-pandemic levels


The latest Aviation Industry Barometer from aviation consultancy IBA shows that passenger ASKs (Available Seat Kilometres) from Chinese operators were trending at 96% of 2019 levels in July 2023 – a strong increase from 89% in June 2023.

IBA’s analysis further shows that in July:

  • Monthly global passenger capacity edged closer to a full recovery, reaching 97% of pre-pandemic ASKs in July 2023 – a gain of +2% compared to June 2023.
  • In July, operators from Africa, North America, Latin America and the Middle East surpassed pre-pandemic capacity, while operators in APAC and Europe continued to lag slightly behind.
  • APAC operator capacity has now surpassed 90% of pre-pandemic levels, supported by a strong July within the Chinese market.
  • Assessing the current trend, IBA expects global passenger ASKs to surpass 2019 levels by October 2023.
  • In July 2023, there were approximately 3.04 million commercial passenger flights, compared to 2.82 million in June 2023, while 2.64 million flights were recorded in July 2022.
  • Chinese operators recorded 451,000 commercial passenger flights in July 2023, compared to 388,000 in June 2023 and 296,000 in June 2022.
  • There were 110 commercial aircraft deliveries in July 2023, representing a month-on-month and year-on-year variance of -24% and +34%, respectively.
  • So far during 2023, Airbus A320neo deliveries have averaged 45 per month, compared to Boeing’s 737 MAX at 35 per month.
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