Flightradar24 Blog

Commercial air traffic down 4.9% so far in March

Commercial air traffic down 4.9% so far in March

Share this article
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Global commercial air traffic tracked by Flightradar24 is 4.9% lower in March 2020 compared to 2019. This decrease is expected to accelerate as expanding governmental prohibitions on travel by certain persons affect the number of flights operated by airlines around the world.

Commercial air traffic down 4.9% in March 2020

The decline has continued since February, when flights were down 4.3% compared to 2019, as airlines and governments respond to the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. Through 11 March, we have tracked 1,130,536 commercial flights (out of 1,944,276 total flights). For the same 11 days in March 2019, commercial flights tracked were 1,188,221 (out of 1,853,901 total).

Commerical flights tracked so far in 2020


Commercial traffic includes scheduled passenger or cargo flights operated by an airline. Excluded here are non-scheduled private flights, general aviation, gliders, and balloons.


The major decline in commercial traffic began during the third week of January and accelerated in to February before making a modest recovery toward the end of the month into the first week of March as China restarted some flights. In the second week of March, governments around the world have begun implementing restrictions on travel that have led to a further—and continuing—decrease in the number of flights operated globally. We expect this to continue as the US implements restrictions on non-US passengers from Europe. Indeed, airlines like Finnair are cancelling their entire US schedule, while others, like airlines in the Lufthansa group are limiting their network.

Global air traffic

March continues to be well below historical levels of growth and we expect this to continue as well. The graph below shows all flights tracked by Flightradar24 from May 2016 through 11 March 2020.

Total flights tracked May 2016 to March 2020

Get the latest aviation news delivered to you

Get the latest aviation news delivered to you

Flight tracking and aviation industry news direct to your inbox

Aviation news comes quickly, so join more than 600,000 others who receive weekly aviation industry and flight tracking news from Flightradar24 direct to their inbox.

Share this article
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Useful flight tracking glossary

View our glossary of terms which you may encounter either on our site or in aviation in general that we hope enriches your flight tracking experience.

About Flightradar24

Flightradar24 is a global flight tracking service that provides you with real-time information about thousands of aircraft around the world.
Latest video
Get weekly updates on Flightradar24 and have the latest aviation news land in your inbox.

How flight tracking works

Flightradar24 combines data from several data sources including ADS-B, MLAT and radar data.
Search the blog
Trending articles
Follow us
Latest AvTalk Podcasts
Related news

Aeroflot cancels international flights

Russian flag carrier Aeroflot will cancel international flights, except Belarus, from 8 March. The cancellation of international flights will apply to all airlines in the

Help to grow our flight tracking coverage

We are continually looking to improve our flight tracking and the airports below are where new receivers will add the most coverage. Apply for a receiver today and if accepted you’ll receiver a free Flightradar24 Business Subscription.

Free ADS-B Receiver
Most wanted global airports
Try the full Flightradar24 experience free for 7 days
Remove ads and unlock over 50 additional features

Get the Flightradar24 Aviation newsletter

Flight tracking and aviation industry news direct to your inbox

Aviation news comes quickly, so we want to bring more of the aviation world to you with our weekly Flightradar24 aviation newsletter - On The Radar.