Global flights in August up 1%, seats up 3%

Dubai shows fastest growth among major global air hubs

Airlines worldwide increased the number of flights for August 2012, compared to the same month last year, by 16,948 and seats by 9,608,208, taking the total scheduled flight operations to 2,789,437 and total seats offered to 361,193,356. This represents growth of 1% in flights but 3% in seats – explained by the increased use of larger aircraft, according to the air travel research company OAG. Average aircraft seat capacity is 129 this month, compared with 127 in August 2011.
For the year to date, scheduled flights show a growth of 2% and seat capacity an increase of 3% compared with the January-August period last year. Dubai is showing the fastest growth among the major global air hubs, with a 12% increase in flight operations and a 14% increase in seat capacity.
Seat capacity at eight of the world’s top 10 airports will grow this month. Beijing’s year-on-year increase of 8% brings it ever closer to Atlanta as the world’s biggest hub in terms of seats offered, while Tokyo’s offering increased by nearly 375,000 seats, up 5% on August 2011, securing its status as the world’s fourth-largest hub after London Heathrow. However, scheduled flight operations within North America are at their lowest August level for 10 years (953,083 fewer seats and 21,401 fewer flights).
[photo courtesy Copenhagen Airport]