The spread of COVID-19 and response by the aviation industry has resulted in an unprecedented decline in global air traffic.Commercial air traffic dropped in the third week of January, but made a slight recovery during February into the first week in March. As COVID-19 spread around the world and airlines reacted by halting flying and governments put travel restrictions in place, commercial air traffic has shrunk 41% below 2019 levels in the last two weeks of March.
Shrinking air traffic
Total flights in context
The above graph displays the total number of flights tracked by Flightradar24 per day since May 2016. The average number of total flights per day in March 2019 was 176,000. In March 2020 the average number of total flights per day is 145,000.
View updated daily flight tracking statistics
Below, we’ve charted the total number of flights from the same period overlaid with a 7-day moving average.
Commercial flights drop off
Commercial flights decreased 55% in the final week of March 2020 compared to 2019. We expect this trend to continue as airlines remove additional flights from their schedules.