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Commercial flights increase 30% in last month

written by Sandy Milne | June 10, 2020

Swedish internet-based tracking service Flightradar24 has released several key indications of an uptick in flights in recent weeks, charting a return towards normal.

While civil aviation is still down significantly year-on-year, signs of hope are beginning to emerge for the industry.

On 5 June, the organisation reported that the number of commercial flights it tracked was up 10 per cent over the last seven days, and up 30 per cent last over the course of the previous 30.

Source: Flightradar24

Analysis of the site’s seven-day moving average also reveals that most growth recorded across May was non-commercial in nature.

However, data released by the Stockholm-based organisation since the beginning of June charts significant growth in regular scheduled passenger flights, as travel restrictions begin to ease around Europe, North America, and parts of Asia-Pacific.

Though the service does record a rebound in commercial aviation, it’s worth noting that the passenger sector is still down 70.8 per cent year-on-year. Even accounting for the cargo sector, overall flights are down 52 per cent from May 2019.

Data covering the period January through June (pictured below) puts the recent uptick in perspective. From the 100,000 mark typical of the earlier months of the year, flights dropped off dramatically after countries began to close their borders to international travel in March.

Seven-day moving average of commercial flights tracked by the service (Flightradar)


While certain domestic travel industries (particularly China’s) have been able to recover significant proportions of pre-pandemic coverage, international and intercontinental passenger service is still significantly reduced.

The news comes as several major airlines begin to eye increases in international service. American Airlines plans to operate 20 per cent of its international flights by July, while Finnair plans to operate as much as 30 per cent.

Over the course of the crisis, flight tracking services have provided invaluable insight into the unprecedented drop-off (and now rebound) in air services.


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