Commercial flight growth slowed significantly in August, with traffic rising only 10.4% above July as the summer season comes to an end. Commercial flights were 45.2% below August 2019 levels, a slight improvement over the 50% decline year-over-year in July.

Commercial flight growth slowing significantly

Commercial flight growth began slowing in mid-July before picking up again during the first week of August. Traffic growth then stalled again in the third week of August. In August 2020, Flightradar24 tracked 2,103,149 commercial flights, compared to 3,840,613 in the same month of 2019.

Commercial flights 2019 vs 2020Commercial traffic rose just 10.1% in August after rising 30% or more in the preceding two months. In July, commercial flights rose 38.7% above June, and June grew 31.9% above May.

View daily tracking statistics for total and commercial flights

Total flights down 28.6% from August 2019

Total flights in August were 28.6% below 2019 levels with 4,654,406 flights tracked by the Flightradar24 network (compared to 6,521,955 in August 2019). Growth of total flights also decelerated in August. Visible in the graph below is the normal end of summer decrease in flight activity, though it remains to be seen how closely this year’s flights will hew to previous years.

Total flights 2016 to present by year


Ian Petchenik’s love of aviation began at an early age growing up next to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. As Flightradar24’s director of communications and co-host of the AvTalk podcast Ian now gets to share that passion for aviation with millions of Flightradar24 users and listeners around the world.

Begin an annual subscription to remove ads and unlock over 50 premium-only features. For a limited time only, get 6 months free.

Upgrade and get 6 months free

$34.99 then first renewal after 18 months.

See all plans

  Faster, ad free experience     365 days flight history    Aeronautical charts    Aviation weather layers    Up to 3 concurrent sessions    Set up to 25 custom alerts

Offer ends Sunday December 6. Can only be purchased via not via App Store or Google Play. Subscription can be accessed across all platforms.

Send this to a friend