Air traffic worldwide

Worldwide, air traffic developed steadily in one direction: upwards. The number of passengers transported grew every year. At the same time, the number of aircraft in the sky increased. However, the corona pandemic in 2020 will put a significant damper on this development. Suddenly the sky is empty. Hardly a trace of contrails.


The forecasts for air traffic worldwide are also gloomy. Orders have been cancelled with the major aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus. Airlines all over the world are reducing capacities and employees are receiving letters of dismissal. Germany’s Lufthansa assumes that it will take years before demand returns to the old level. The party of the aviation industry is over for the time being.

Statistics on air traffic from Flightradar

Bar chart showing the development of air traffic worldwide on a weekly basis.
Weekly aircraft tracked by flight radar worldwide: Air traffic has decreased by more than 60% during the Corona pandemic. (The given dates mark the end of a week).

The figures on worldwide air traffic can also be seen in the statistics of Flightradar24. In the first months of 2020, an average of well over one million aircraft per week could be tracked. In the last week of April 2020, there were not even 500,000.

In total, the minus of aircraft on the flight radar is about 60 percent. This figure applies to transport and passenger aircraft. If one looks exclusively at passenger aircraft, the balance is even more serious. The media report a regional decline of even 85 percent.

No matter which flight radar you call up, significantly fewer aircraft appear on the screens everywhere. You can see for yourself with the following flight tracking providers:

What is the future for air traffic worldwide?

Experts expect a noticeable recovery by the end of the year. Some assume that 85 percent of the volume from pre-Corona times will be reached again. The situation will vary greatly from region to region. Flight-Radar EU will keep you informed about developments in statistics.

Statistics of flights worldwide: After flights have been canceled due to corona, the numbers are slowly rising.
The number of flights around the world, tracked by flightradar24, seems to pick up again.
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