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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - Saudi Arabia sees increase in airline capacity, as travelers anticipate summer season
DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has recorded a 15.4 percent week-on-week increase in airline capacity over the last week of March, flight intelligence company OAG said.
Capacity in the Saudi market rose to 723,496 seats, as global airlines add more flights in anticipation of a pick up in demand.
Although it was still lower than pre-pandemic levels, OAG said “we are heading for the best week in over twelve months,” if airline capacity continues its upward trend.
The UAE was also in OAG’s top 20 markets list, at 640,879 scheduled seats over the same period, up 6.8 percent week-on-week.
The aviation industry has been banking on countries’ aggressive inoculation drives to restore people’s confidence in travelling, while airlines double down on precautionary measures to contain the spread of the virus.
OAG said “the demand side of the equation is crucial” to really determine the recovery of the aviation industry, despite growth in airline capacity.
“The next four weeks are likely to be crucial in shaping the whole summer season which in turn for many airlines is when revenues are generated that carry them through the following winter season,” it said.
Oman Air is the latest airline to add capacity to Saudi Arabia, announcing it will start flying to Riyadh again from April 1, with four flights per week.
The airline aresumed flights to Dammam on March 28.
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