As we discussed a week ago, there is an obvious substantial decline in global air traffic, followed by the restrictions and national lockdowns during the Coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic outbreak around the world. Many countries and airlines have shut down the airports, tens of thousand flights were canceled. At the end of March 2020, there has been more than a 60% drop in the global air traffic compared to last month or March 2019. Such an amount of grounded flights will undoubtedly have a positive effect on the climate, e.g. temperature difference and indeed air pollution.

Looking over the number of flights during the first three months of the 2020 year, we can see the average of commercial flights was around 100.000, while the number of total flights was around 175.000. At the end of March 2020, there were less than 65.000 total flights recorded which are, compared to the normal end of March average, almost 65% decline!

Another impressive comparison is the number of flights between the last few years, from 2016 to 2020. We can see the air traffic is increasing each year, but with less than 70.000 daily flights lately, that’s a remarkable and sharp drop compared to the average of 160-180.000 flights in the past years:

Numerous airliners are closing their routes, which has become very obvious on the flight coverage maps compared to earlier this month or last year. Attached are maps over Europe, the United States, and South America:

Europe – all airliners:

Europe – low-cost airliners:

North Atlantic:

United States:

Southern America:

There are many more special flight operating, precisely the flights delivering medical supplies and equipment in various countries around the world:

Here is a pretty remarkable gesture a Hungarian pilot made on March 27th – a perfect time to express appreciation for healthcare professionals fighting COVID-19 in Hungary:

Many grounded flights and parked airplanes:

Given the fact the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak is far from over yet, we can expect the number of flights through the month of April will continue to decline. We will keep you updated with new data again later in April, as this is historic on a global scale!

Meanwhile, see how the significant decline started in mid March:

March brings a substantial (more than 45 %) drop in global commercial air traffic due to #COVID-19 virus outbreak

See also – COVID-19 outbreak and nationalwide restrictions are already having an effect on the air pollution (NO2), e.g. Italy and China:

The #COVID-19 environmental factual effect over Italy: The nationwide lockdown leads to significant decline in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emission

New data of #COVID-19 effects on the significant decline of nitrogen dioxide over China, now again increasing as lockdown is over

… and global CO2 levels as well:

*COVID-19 vs Climate* Global CO2 levels have temporarily stopped rising, likely due to the industry slowdown as the world battles the new Coronavirus