Commercial aviation continues to grow; more pilots are continually needed to satisfy that growth. The world’s airlines have made another solid start this year, timetabling nearly 2.4 million scheduled flights this month — 100,000 more than a year ago — and 300,000 more than in January 2002. This four percent increase is more than matched by a five percent increase in airline seating capacity. These figures were revealed in the recent OAG Quarterly Airline Traffic Statistics. OAG gathers data from more than 1,000 scheduled airlines.
Duncan Alexander, OAG’s Managing Director, said "While the percentage increases may not sound dramatic, their significance is in their consistency. This is the fifth consecutive year that we have seen an increase in January capacity … The fact that carriers are sufficiently confident to boost capacity yet again suggests that 2007 could be a good year ."
The low-cost flights are up 15% globally, with Asia accounting for half of that. More than half of the world’s new low-cost flights were in Asia Pacific. There were 22,000 additional low-fare services within the region during the month, representing a 67 percent increase from last year.
January also had a 57 percent increase in the number of low-cost flights to and from Europe and a 118 percent rise in low-cost operations to and from Africa. Flights to and from the US, the world’s most mature aviation market, were five percent higher than in January 2005 at 114,700. The month’s 818,000 US domestic flights showed a two percent increase. Conversely, the UK market saw a greater year-over-year increase domestically than in its international services, with the number of flights rising four and one percent respectively.