COVID-19 AIR TRAVEL RECOVERY

HOW DID THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AFFECT GLOBAL AIR TRAVEL?

Since the news first broke of a virus spreading fast around the world in March 2020, we tracked weekly airline capacity and its ups and downs. At the very lowest point in early May 2020, airline capacity fell to less than one third of the level that operated in May 2019.  

Since then the only way has been up, with the travel recovery beginning in earnest in 2022 in some regions.  By the close of 2023, many markets across the world were back to 2019 capacity levels, which became the benchmark for a return to normality.  With 2023's yearly capacity total just 3.7% below 2019, we're wrapping up reporting on weekly capacity in this format going forward, but will be updating our Airline Frequency & Capacity Statistics page with weekly airline capacity data. 

GLOBAL TOTAL SEATS (DOMESTIC + INTERNATIONAL)


The air travel data is plotted by week from the beginning of 2019 to w/c 25th December 2023.

The data is shown weekly, for 5 years, with 2019 as a baseline for global capacity. Each week this chart was updated with the latest information to track the recovery of the aviation industry. The chart shows airline capacity decrease dramatically in Spring 2020, reaching a low of 30,577,575 seats in week 19. Capacity then increased each year from March 2020 onwards, with the teal line that represents 2023 starting to meet the yellow line of 2019.

DOMESTIC + INTERNATIONAL SEATS


These charts show the different patterns in recovery for the domestic and international markets. The data provided includes the number of scheduled airline seats for domestic and international flights by week for 5 years, again with 2019 as the baseline for capacity. As with the global chart above, each week this chart was updated with the latest capacity position up until the last week of 2023 (w/c 25th December).

DOMESTIC SEATS

INTERNATIONAL SEATS

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