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June 15, 2024
Tracking Post-Pandemic Air Travel Recovery
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The recent pandemic did a number on commercial aviation, dwarfing previous shocks like wars, terrorism, or SARS.  The trickle-down effects are still being felt – pilot shortages and aerospace supply chain stress are two big ones.  These two alone are causing ongoing havoc. Tracking the post-pandemic air travel recovery is vital as commercial aviation is the “thin golden thread” that ties economies together.

In the US, regional airline airlines can’t find pilots and captains, so many communities are losing air service.  As more people resort to driving to get to an airport much further away, we can expect a rise in the number of automobile crashes with the cost that brings.  Meanwhile, aircraft operators globally sit with parked aircraft waiting for spares.  One operator mentioned this week that Honeywell spares couldn’t be found.  They had an AOG because of this.

Commercial aviation is, arguably, the most global industry.  It is probably a good proxy for a general sense of how the global economy is doing.  To that end, we have been building an air travel tracker.  This is a work in progress, and we are adding more markets as we find data.  The model starts in January 2019 and tracks domestic travel. There are some markets, like Iceland, where domestic doesn’t make sense, and we report their traffic.  Similar markets would be Singapore, Hong Kong, and Macau. 

Here’s the model. To make the charts easier to follow, we segregated markets into tiers. Each page has a tier based on traffic volume.  The upper chart lists the actual volume, providing the reader with volume and scale.  The lower chart uses January 2019 as the base for each market and then tracks growth or declines over time.

Your input to grow coverage is welcomed, with links and suggestions for markets we need to add.

author avatar
Addison Schonland
Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.

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