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United CEO Scott Kirby was vocal and very clear last week during his airline’s earnings call: the airline industry has multiple challenges that will make the current (higher) capacity outlook for 2023 unrealistic. Instead, the airline and aerospace industries are still affected by the same issues and constraints as in 2022. Who thought that 2023 would see a return to 2019, needs to look better. The industry is not the same, says Kirby. Insight: Scott Kirby’s view on why ‘the times are changin’.

Kirby’s comments seem in contrast with what aircraft lessors like Avolon, AerCap, and Air Lease Corporation said only a few days earlier during an event in Dublin: the recovery of capacity is going quicker than anticipated and could be back to 2019 levels as soon as June. That’s a few months earlier than what IATA is expecting to happen only by the end of this year but more likely in 2024.


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