(Bloomberg) -- Airlines this week added the most seats since the coronavirus outbreak began, spurred by expectations that demand will increase during the Northern Hemisphere summer and after the safe travel corridors are created, according to OAG Aviation Worldwide.
Carriers globally added 8.2 million seats to schedules for this week, a 21% jump from the previous week, analyst John Grant said. India and Europe saw strong growth as many major airlines -- including IndiGo, operated by InterGlobe Aviation Ltd., and Ryanair Holdings Plc -- raised capacity.
“The arrival of July and the summer season has a feeling of optimism at last for the aviation industry,” Grant wrote in his weekly blog. “Talk of travel corridors from the U.K. over the weekend resulted in a surge of booking activity.”
Grant cautioned that there could be a high rate of cancellations, however, as airlines wait for demand to respond to the increased seat numbers.
Some regional markets have capacity back to at least 25% of their levels in January, and the overall number of scheduled seats is 41% of the same week last year, Grant said.
China has bounced back from the lockdown in Beijing, with nearly 1 million seats added this week, he said. Chinese domestic capacity is 86% of pre-pandemic levels.
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