CAPA sees 60% recovery in domestic Australia capacity by Christmas 2020

COVID-19 claims another air show victim as Avalon is cancelled this year

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Australia’s CAPA aviation consultancy said Wednesday (13 May) that based on a combination of analysis of government statements, airline projections and underlying demand, CAPA’s new Airline Capacity Model projects a slow, phased recovery in domestic air capacity in Australia through the remainder of 2020.

Reaching 37 percent of last year’s volume by early July, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has foreshadowed a return to intra-state travel under the federal government’s three phase plan to ease coronavirus restrictions. The plan, designed to revive the domestic economy, leaves the timing for the re-establishment of travel to the states. CAPA projects domestic capacity to reach 49 percent of 2019 levels by the October school holidays and 60 percent by mid-December 2020. CAPA expects a supply-led return over the coming three months as airlines tempt passengers back to the air with low fares while emphasising enhanced health and safety precautions.

Peter Harbison, founder and chairman emeritus of CAPA. (PHOTO: CAPA)

CAPA Chairman Emeritus, Peter Harbison said: “Australia is one of the best positioned countries globally to suppress the first wave of COVID-19 infection. If this continues and we avoid a second outbreak, the Australian domestic air market could see some signs of life by mid-year and a steady improvement by Christmas. However, we don’t expect to see 2019 levels of domestic flying reached again this year. International will be hit harder and potentially take multiple years to recover. However this will be to the benefit of the domestic market – potentially also embracing Trans-Tasman operations”.

International markets are unlikely to recover and the CAPA Airline Capacity Model sees international air capacity (seat numbers) still down by 92 percent year-on-year in July, -86 percent in October and -85 percent in December. The potential Trans-Tasman ‘bubble’ with New Zealand has been factored into the CAPA Model from August, with some Pacific Islands linkages in time for the Christmas/New Year holidays.

COVID-19 claims another airshow victim

A screenshot of the virus tracking site at Johns Hopkins University. To access the live site, click on the image. (PHOTO: Matt Driskill)

Organisers of the Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition (AVALON 2021) which had been scheduled for February 2021, will be pushed back later into the year, organisers said.

“After extensive consultation and review, it has become clear that the impacts of COVID-19, including lengthy logistical lead times and uncertainty about availability of international travel, would pose unacceptable risks to AVALON 2021, should it continue with its original February dates. As a result, AVALON 2021, originally scheduled for 23-28 February, will be deferred to later in 2021, with timings in November being considered. Precise dates will be announced shortly,” the organisers said.

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