US & Canada COVID-19 Aviation Traffic Report

Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 by Nick Benson

The COVID-19 pandemic has been been devastating to the aviation; as demand softens, airlines have reduced service, and more and more employees in the aviation sector are being laid off, furloughed, or having their hours reduced. I sincerely hope that as soon as it's safe to travel again the industry makes a quick recovery, and I appreciate the effort and risk being made by employees who are working diligently to serve the aircraft that are flying.

Last Updated: Monday, March 30

Sunday's numbers have just been added. The most interesting stat that jumps out to me is Kalitta's jump of 55% over previous Sundays. JFK, LAS, YYZ, EWR, MIA, FLL are all down by more than 60%.

Stats: Departures by Airline Since Late February

COVID-19 started impacting aviation in China at the end of January, which also impacted the US and Canadian routes to Asia, but large differences in the number of flights being operated by carriers on this side of the Pacific didn't really start adding up until a couple of weeks ago. A few places had been sharing global trends, but I was selfishly interested in an airline by airline breakdown of how significant the impact had been.

So, here are some graphs and an airline by airline breakdown in the decrease in traffic from US and Canadian airlines over the last month. The methodology here is to count all flights between 12:00:00 AM and 11:59:59 PM eastern time that departed from an airport in the airline's respective home country (Delta departures from US airports, WestJet departures from Canadian airports, etc.). Since commercial airline schedules are highly cyclical, the percent change is derived by comparing the specified day's count compared to the average of the number of flights each airline operated during three previous "pre-crisis" weeks, 22 February - 13 March.

I'll attempt to keep these up to date, especially as things are volatile and big changes are happening every day.

Additional Aviation News Resources

If you're looking to keep tabs on what's going on, there are lots of great places to be keeping track of aviation news.

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.