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Bumping along: charting October’s flight activity

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October continued August and September’s trend of near flat global commercial flight traffic growth with traffic still slightly more than 40% below last year’s levels. Total flight traffic continues to follow seasonal trends, though total flights remain 25% below 2019 levels.

Commercial traffic 42.4% below 2019

Commercial traffic remained 42.4% below 2019 levels in October, a slight increase from September when traffic was 43% below 2019 and August (-45.2%). Following traditional seasonal patterns, commercial traffic decreased 0.65% from September to October. For comparison, in 2019 traffic decreased 1.67% from September to October. At its worst in April, commercial traffic was down 73.7%.Commerical flights Jan to Oct 2019 vs 2020

View and download daily tracking statistics for total and commercial flights

Total traffic down 25.2% from 2019

Total traffic has continued to lead commercial traffic, ending October down 25.2% from 2019. Traffic in September was similarly off 25.9% from the same month last year.

Total Flights May 2016-Oct 2020

What remains to be seen in November is how closely traffic will follow previous seasonal trends or if further improvements or restrictions will dramatically sway a fragile recovery.

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