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Cirium weekly COVID-19 update – Top 20 International city pairs by seats flown

Cirium's market experts provide analysis and a comparison on routes flown between 2019 and 2020

Domestic passenger jet flight numbers are again showing tentative signs of improvement but international operations remain under severe pressure, with no indication of a let up in the renewed downward trend for cross-border services which took hold from late-August.

The global seven-day rolling average total of daily international flights has fallen by over 1,000 since August 31, to below 8,400 for September 23. This means the percentage decline in the seven-day rolling average compared with the 364th day prior has reached nearly 75%, compared with the 73% deficit recorded for August 31.

For week 38 of 2020 the best performing international city pair by number of bi-directional seats flown was Antalya in Turkey to the Russian capital Moscow, which actually recorded significant growth compared with the equivalent week in 2019. Also posting capacity growth since last year were Istanbul-Moscow, Chicago-Tokyo and Antalya-Kiev.

Meanwhile, 2019’s top 20 international city pairs for seats flown unsurprisingly recorded huge declines for week 38 of 2020, led by Hong Kong-Taipei which registered a drop of more than 110,000. Some routes, such as Bangkok-Singapore, Jakarta-Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok-Kuala Lumpur and Osaka-Seoul have been almost completely wiped out.

However global domestic passenger jet flight numbers recovered to just under 35,000 on September 23, maintaining a renewed upward trajectory that began on September 12 when approximately 33,500 services were tracked.

Looking at week-on-week trends by region, Europe posted a nearly 5% fall in total flight arrivals for September 23, measured as percentage change in seven-day rolling average versus the seventh day prior, while all other regions were in positive territory, resulting in a net global improvement of 1.4%.

Cirium continues to classify approximately 32% of the global passenger jet fleet as having in-storage status.

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