The latest coronavirus airline and aviation industry news

As the situation develops, you’ll find all of our coverage and data regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) available on this page. For breaking news and information you can also follow us on twitter.

Latest news articles

  • Commercial flights down 42% in 2020

    Commercial flights ended 2020 down 41.7% from 2019. Total flights finished the year 27% below 2019 levels. Commercial traffic continued its slow rebound in December, rising to just 36.5% below 2019 levels (-39.8% in November).   Read More
  • Pilot draws syringe in the sky to celebrate COVID-19 vaccine

    A pilot in southern Germany took to the sky just before Christmas to celebrate the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine. Using a Diamond DA-20 Katana the pilot drew a 70 kilometer long syringe 5,000 feet in the air.   Read More
  • Bumping along: charting October’s flight activity

    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.   Read More
  • Can we learn from China’s traffic recovery?

    As the first hit by COVID-19, China is also a step ahead of Europe and the United States in the recovery. In this article, we will analyse the recovery of the Chinese aviation market, compare it to Europe and the United States, and investigate the changes since our previous analysis in April 2020.   Read More
  • Will COVID stall the market for the A330’s engines?

    The A330 has over ten variants across all passenger, cargo and military configurations. The engine options for the A330 CEOs are General Electric’s CF6-80E, Pratt & Whitney’s PW4000-100 and Rolls Royce’s Trent 700. Of these engines, the Trent 700 has proved to be the most popular option by far for the fleet, as highlighted in …   Read More
  • The 747 steps up: how the Queen’s cargo role has increased

    The first three years of this decade were supposed to see a gradual and dignified retirement of major airlines’ passenger 747 fleets. With COVID-19 upending fleet planning the world over, airlines are quickly retiring the Queen of the Skies in favor of more fuel-efficient twin-engine aircraft or to just downsize their fleets.   Read More
  • How the European low-cost carriers faced the pandemic

    As the pandemic shut down most flying over the course of March, the major low-cost airlines of Europe weren’t spared. Each of the big three – easyJet, Ryanair and Wizz...
  • Tale of two airports: Doha and Dubai in the pandemic

    The novel coronavirus has impacted aviation worldwide, and the Persian Gulf region has been no exception. In fact the drop in traffic there has been especially striking. We’ve grown accustomed...
  • Did private jets flock to Sweden to avoid lockdown?

    This year, as most European countries locked down to try and get COVID-19 under control, Sweden famously took a lighter approach. Though many businesses shut down in Stockholm, most restrictions...
  • A close look at Iceland’s pandemic flight activity

    Flight activity in and out of Iceland’s main airport, Reykjavik’s Keflavik Airport (KEF), followed a typical trajectory in March: it dropped off a cliff. The pandemic had a similar effect in...
  • Indian Aviation: The Road Ahead

    India went into a national lockdown in March 2020 and along with that, the aviation industry, which was growing at double digits, came to a standstill.   Read More
  • Flying with Air France during the pandemic

    Despite gloomy news just about everywhere for commercial aviation, Europe has been something of a bright spot over the past couple of months.   Read More
  • Picking up the pace: Abu Dhabi resumes flights, adds new service

    After a long shutdown due to COVID-19, things have started to heat up at Abu Dhabi International Airport – and not just in terms of soaring Gulf temperatures. In fact just as Etihad Airways works to build back up its hobbled international network, the United Arab Emirates capital is also shaping up to be the …   Read More
  • Pause or plateau: July marks inflection point in flight traffic recovery

    Global air traffic rose in July as total and commercial flights both climbed, but trends in the second half of the month show a slowing recovery. Total traffic was 32% below 2019 levels in July, while commercial traffic was down 50% from the previous year.   Read More
  • Titan Airways 757 visits one of the world’s most remote and difficult airports

    Aviation fans had a bit of excitement yesterday as the remote and notoriously tricky airport at St. Helena (HLE), a British overseas territory in the middle of the South Atlantic...
  • How do pilots stay current in a pandemic?

    With demand for air travel still far below normal levels thanks to COVID-19, airlines are having to juggle a number of difficult decisions and manage not only the financial pain but also the logistical chaos that comes from suddenly cutting flights and parking planes. One of those logistical issues is that of pilot currency.   Read More
  • Schedule vs. Reality: The gap between published schedules and airline operations

    The global aviation industry remains in turmoil, continually challenging commercial airlines as they plan and publish their advanced schedules. This is made particularly difficult by the different lockdown rules and...
  • Hi Fly converts its A380 to carry cargo

    Hi Fly has converted its A380 (9H-MIP | MSN 006) to a cargo configuration by removing seating from both decks. With the seats removed, the A380 holds approximately 320 m³ of cargo across the upper and lower decks and cargo hold.   Read More
  • Widerøe: the little airline that could

    One day back in March, at a time when the coronavirus crisis was picking up steam and cutting down airline operations across the world, something unusual happened. Widerøe, the little Norwegian airline running mostly domestic flights on Dash 8 turboprops, became the busiest passenger airline in Europe.   Read More
  • Flight activity rises in June, still far below 2019 levels

    Flight activity increased in June as airlines added to their schedules, but non-commercial flights continued to lead overall growth. In June, Flightradar24 tracked 3,555,769 total flights, down 42% from June 2019. Commercial flights, at 1,373,303 in June, were down 62% from June 2019.   Read More
  • How airlines have managed their fleet mix during the COVID-19 pandemic

    Flightradar24 note: ICF used Flightradar24 data to explore how airlines have managed their fleets during the COVID-19 pandemic and what that might mean for future fleets as demand returns. In...
  • Commercial flights top 50,000 for the first time since March

    Flightradar24 tracked 50,051 commercial flights on 18 June, the first time since 24 March that more than 50,000 commercial flights took to the sky. The low point in commercial traffic occurred on 12 April when we tracked just 23,923 commercial flights. Thus far however, non-commercial traffic growth has lead the way.   Read More
  • A COVID-19 logistical puzzle: how airlines safely store their aircraft

    When the COVID-19 crisis hit Europe and North America in earnest in March, airlines faced an unprecedented drop in demand for flights and a growing list of countries where they could no longer land. As air traffic nosedived, many aircraft were parked without a clear idea as to when exactly they would fly again. The …   Read More
  • Aviation’s slow recovery: May air traffic statistics

    As the aviation industry continues to find its way in the wake of COVID-19, we saw a resurgence in total flight activity in May, driven mostly by non-commercial flights. In May, Flightradar24 tracked more than 100,000 total daily flights for the first time since the end of March. Commercial flight activity continues to climb from …   Read More
  • The impact of the CARES Act on US domestic aviation

    Flightradar24 note: With Flightradar24 data, ICF examined flights in the United States to see how airline networks and routes have been impacted and what characteristics, if any, the busiest and most impacted routes share.   Read More
  • 100,000 daily flights tracked for the first time since 22 March

    For the first time since 22 March, Flightradar24 tracked more than 100,000 daily flights on 20 May. 110,361 flights took to the skies, an 11.9% increase from the previous day, but still well below the average of 191,611 flights per day from May 2019.   Read More
  • US Business Aviation hard hit by COVID-19

    Flightradar24 Note: In the latest in a series of analyses of Flightradar24 data, ICF examines business aviation in the US to see how the world’s largest market has been impacted by COVID-19. Analyzing business aviation offers insights into a unique market. Although commanding a high premium over commercial flights, its core customer segments—corporations and high …   Read More
  • Scraping along the bottom: April air traffic statistics

    March’s COVID-19 induced historic drop in air traffic paved the way for late April’s slight and uncertain recovery. The least busy day in the skies in many years was 12 April, when only 46,294 flights took to the air. Since then the total number of flights tracked by Flightradar24 each day has trended upward, though …   Read More
  • Cargo flights forming the backbone of COVID-19 relief efforts

    Flightradar24 Note: In a global time of need, air cargo has stepped in to get badly needed medical supplies, food, and other essentials where they need to be. With Flightradar24...
  • Then and now: visualizing COVID-19’s impact on air traffic

    We‘ve compiled statistics and charted the dramatic decline in air traffic caused by COVID-19, but what does that actually look like on the map? We’ve created some ‘before and after’ images showing the impact on air traffic in various places around the world.   Read More
  • Learning from the curve: Chinese aviation may offer early signs of a COVID-19 recovery

    Flightradar24 Note: Airlines and governments have reacted to the spread of COVID-19 with varying speed and levels of restrictions. With Flightradar24 data, ICF examined flights in China, Europe, and the...
  • Airlines get creative with cargo

    Airlines are making big changes to how they operate in the face of COVID-19. In addition to the growth of dedicated cargo service—including Atlas Air taking at least one 747 freighter out of storage—airlines are getting creative in how they carry cargo shipments that would normally fly with passengers.   Read More
  • Tracking March’s historic drop in air traffic

    March witnessed a historic drop in air traffic as COVID-19 travel restrictions expanded and demand for air travel evaporated. The total number of flights tracked by Flightradar24 in March 2020 was 4,294,685, down 21.6% from 2019. Commercial flights tracked in March were 27.7% lower than 2019. But monthly figures don’t capture the full picture.   Read More
  • Charting the decline in air traffic caused by COVID-19

    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.   Read More
  • March commercial traffic down 10% below 2019 so far

    Global commercial air traffic tracked by Flightradar24 is now 10% lower in March 2020 compared to 2019. This week has seen a sharp decrease in commercial flights as airlines begin parking their fleets and operating minimum services or none at all.   Read More
  • Commercial air traffic now down 7.2% in March

    Global commercial air traffic tracked by Flightradar24 is 7.2% lower in March 2020 compared to 2019. With the announcements of further restrictions and suspensions made by governments and airlines over the weekend, we expect the decline to increase sharply over the next week.   Read More
  • Delta begins storing its fleet

    Delta Air Lines has begun storing some of its wide-body fleet in response to the COVID-19 crisis and lack of travel demand. It will expand its storage flights on Monday, 16 March, as it flies at least two dozen aircraft to Marana in Arizona and Birmingham, Alabama. The aircraft include a mix of A330, A350, …   Read More
  • Commercial air traffic down 4.3% in February 2020

    Global commercial air traffic tracked by Flightradar24 decreased 4.3% in February compared to 2019. The number of commercial passenger and cargo flights tracked by Flightradar24 dropped even as the total number of flights tracked increased 7%, led by an increase in tracking non-scheduled traffic.   Read More
  • Air traffic at China’s busiest airports now in slow recovery

    Updated with data through 25 August 2020 Average daily departures from China’s 25 busiest airports jumped to 8110 in August, adding 600 daily departures over July’s average. Beijing traffic has recovered to about what it was in early June prior to the second lockdown in the capital city. Departures from Shanghai continue to lag Guangzhou, …   Read More
  • Airlines suspending flights to China in response to Coronavirus threat

    Coronavirus related flight cancellations are increasing as international airlines are suspending or sharply curtailing their service to China in response to the outbreak that began in Wuhan last month. Some major airlines like British Airways and the Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa, SWISS, and Austrian) have canceled all flights to China, while others like United and American …   Read More
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