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Last Week in North America – Monday 4 April 2022

Last Week Americas

Air travel demand in the US during the last week was relatively stable at around 90% of the level seen during the same period in 2019. Given that capacity levels appear to also be at around 90%, this suggests that airline load factors are comparable with what they were back in 2019.

Air Service One has identified and confirmed 35 new routes that launched in North America during the last three weeks, of which seven were from the new airport serving Mexico City that opened for commercial operations on 21 March 2022. Planned as a reliever airport for Mexico City’s main airport, the new facility has been developed on the site of an existing military base.

There were several new routes between Europe and the US, including UK leisure carrier TUI Airways starting Melbourne Orlando International Airport flights from several UK airports, Finnair starting service to DFW, KLM starting Austin, Lufthansa beginning flights from Munich to San Diego and Virgin Atlantic beginning US service (to Orlando) from Edinburgh. Eurowings Discover also added US services not only from Frankfurt but also Munich. Also of note was WestJet’s first ever scheduled service to London LHR (from Calgary) to complement its existing Gatwick services.

In the US domestic market, JetBlue launched its first ever services from both Kansas City and Milwaukee (with flights to Boston and New York JFK) while also expanding its network from New York LGA. Meanwhile, in Canada, Flair started serving Comox Valley Airport on Vancouver Island for the first time.

Puerto Rico leads way for capacity growth in April

Analysis of Cirium data for April 2022 and April 2019, reveals which US states and territories have seen the highest rates of seat recovery. Across all states capacity is down just over 9%. However, seven states and territories are showing increases of more than 5%. Puerto Rico leads the way with almost 14% more seat capacity compared with April 2019, with Frontier and Spirit leading the way for capacity growth at San Juan.

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South Carolina has climbed from fourth in March to second in April in terms of highest growth. Myrtle Beach (39% seat growth) and Charleston (17% growth) have been the main drivers of the state’s growth, with Southwest increasing seats by 86% since April 2019 and now ranking as third in the state among airlines behind Delta and American.

Top 15 US states for recovery

At the other end of the rankings, the states with the biggest percentage drop in monthly seat capacity are led by New Hampshire (down 24.8%), followed by Wisconsin (down 22.0%) and Wyoming (down 20.9%). Three other states (Michigan, Pennsylvania and Nebraska) have all seen capacity reductions in excess of 20%.

Want more information on:

  • Latest US airport passenger figures (TSA) and comparison with 2019?
  • North American seat capacity changes made during the last few weeks for April, May and June?
  • New routes launched in North America during the last three weeks?

If so, then check out our weekly Last Week in North America report which can be downloaded here.

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