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 commercial traffic has remained flat throughout the month.


View daily tracking statistics for total and commercial flights


Total flights tracked May 2016 to April 2020Total flights down 62% in April, compared to 2019

In April 2020, Flightradar24 tracked an average of 69,586 total flights per day, a 62% decrease from April 2019. The total number of flights tracked declined from mid-March to mid-April before recovery slightly in the second half of the month. In April 2020, the busiest day in the sky was 28 April with 80,714 flights (compared to 17 Apr 2019 with 203,239).

Commercial flights down 73.7% in April, compared to 2019

Commercial flights remained lower throughout the month, but showed early signs of lifting at the very end of the month. Commercial flights in April averaged 29,439 per day, compared to 111,799 flights per day in 2019. The last week in April saw an increase in commercial flight activity, though it is far to early to say if this increase continue.

Commercial flights 2019 vs 2020Look at it this way

The two images below were captured exactly a year apart on 30 April at 1500 UTC.

30 April 201930 April 2020

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.

In this article

Send this to a friend