15 June: Weekly US & Canada COVID-19 Aviation Traffic Report

Posted on Monday, June 15, 2020 by Nick Benson
Topics: COVID-19


  • The number of US-based passenger airline flights has been increasing; the amount of increase varies greatly by airline
  • Several airlines have been bringing aircraft out of storage to accommodate increased schedules; the largest fleet changes were Southwest adding 27 737-700s, and Spirit with 22 A320s.
  • TSA screening volumes have continued their steady growth, with recent days seeing the first days with 500,000+ screenings, and the first time year-over-year decrease has been less than 80%; the number of flights has increased a bit, but not enough to keep load factors steady - on average our numbers estimate ~60 people per flight.
  • Bottom line: last week airlines carried ~20% of passenger volume on ~35% of the flights operated by ~57% of the passenger aircraft fleet.

Aircraft Departures by Week

Southwest continues to grow their schedule pretty aggressively; Allegiant appears to have leveled off at 85% of their pre-crisis flight volume, which is remarkable (see Seth Miller's article at PaxEx.aero for more). United is the largest carrier who hasn't made an upwards shift in their flight volume - it's too early to know for certain which strategy will prove correct.

Aircraft Departures by Week

The same data as above, broken down by week for improved readability.

Fleet Evolution

Several US airlines have been bringing aircraft out of storage; these stats aren't perfect (for example, a flight from a maintenance base to a storage base would get counted here), but the majority of the activity shown here should be indicative of aircraft in service.

Feel free the peruse the graphs below for details; a few increases of note:

  • Southwest: +27 737-700
  • Delta: +10 A321; +6 737-900ER
  • American: +8 737-800
  • Spirit: +4 A319; +22 A320

Nick Benson

Nick lives in Burnsville, MN with his wife and three children. He grooves on railroad and aviation photography, geography, weather, and LEGO. A freelance web developer, he started JetTip's smart flight alert service in 2017. He can frequently be found atop a step ladder at MSP's Aircraft Viewing Area.