In December 2009, the world’s airlines offered 294.8m seats, 4% more than in December 2008, according to OAG, the aviation data firm. Frequencies and capacity in the low-cost sector were both 10% ahead of December 2008, accounting for 444,539 flights or 18% of the overall total, and 65.6m seats (22%). John Weber, senior vice president OAG Aviation, said: “Global capacity continues to rise, boosted by worldwide increases in both frequency and capacity in the low-cost sector, which would tend to show us that travellers are choosing to fly airlines that offer more economical choices. This increase in December 2009 capacity recovers the global pull-down of minus 10m scheduled seats in 2008 and brings us back to the pre-crisis level of December 2007, but the characteristics of many markets have fundamentally changed.” On the other hand, the International Civil Aviation Organization reported scheduled passenger traffic on airlines of its 190 member States fell 3.1% year-onyear in 2009, the biggest decline on record. Moderate improvement is expected for 2010 with a 3.3% rise in passenger traffic.
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