Commercial flights experienced a worldwide decline of more than 27% in March but airplanes continued to fly in China and the United States, with more than 40,000 passengers arriving at American airports from Chinese cities since February, for a total of 279 flights .
The high number of flights registered in China and the USA results from these two countries, due to the territorial dimension of both, air transport being the main form of rapid travel and, in particular, in the USA, no restrictions were imposed on domestic flights. since the beginning of the pandemic.
For example, the New York region, the epicenter of the pandemic in the USA, is the region with the largest number of domestic flights in the country.
The restrictions on domestic flights in force in China, for their part, apply only to regions placed in isolation.
From the USA to China, the number of flights is significantly lower than the 279 in the opposite direction, which is explained by restrictions, however, again applied to the entry of foreign citizens in China, after the authorities have detected new cases of Covid -19, which could constitute a second wave of the pandemic.
Thus, most flights are aimed at repatriation of Chinese nationals who are in the USA. And most of these flights are charters.
Globally, more than 100 airlines have announced so far the total suspension of their flights.
Through the Flight Radar24 website it is possible to have a picture of the situation in real time.
Less 60% of flights
The phenomenon that has been gaining an important dimension since the beginning of April goes in the opposite direction to the worldwide downward trend that has been occurring since March, with the numbers accentuating throughout the month.
Thus, 3.9% fewer flights were carried out in the first week of March compared to the same period in 2019 and at the end of the month this decline was 62.9% compared to the same period last year.
In addition to the significant number of travelers arriving in the US from China, The New York Times reported earlier this month that these thousands of passengers of various nationalities were subjected to health checks carried out carelessly at American airports, mostly of cases.
This situation comes at a time when air carriers are faced with an avalanche of requests for refunds for flights not made and that industry analysts do not foresee a return to normal before the end of May. A return that is bound to be phased.
Analysts are also in agreement that commercial aviation will only return to normal when those considered two of the main global air carriers, Emirates and Turkish Airlines, announce the normal resumption of operations.