After a devastating year for airlines in 2020, many carriers try to return to a normal level. We wanted to know the details and analyzed the traffic volume of 50 top global airlines. Therefore, we compared each airline’s number of flights in June 2021 to the traffic pre-COVID level in June 2019.

COVID Impact On Airlines - A Flight Volume Analysis

COVID’s Impact on Airlines — A Flight Volume Analysis of 50 Top Airlines!

It’s been more than 18 months since COVID has hit the world. After a devastating year for airlines in 2020, many carriers try to return to a normal level. We wanted to know the details and analyzed the traffic volume of 50 top global airlines. Therefore, we compared each airline’s number of flights in June 2021 to the traffic level in June 2019.

Here’s what’s contained in detail:

List of Airlines With More Flights Than Pre-COVID

Out of 50 analyzed airlines, ten carriers managed to operate more flights in June 2021 than in pre-COVID time. Russia’s Pobeda definitely showed the most impressive performance. Compared to June 2019, Pobeda increased its flight volume by more than 54%. Ural Airlines is the second Russian airline among the top list. The Russian carrier increased its flight volume by almost 34%.

Moreover, three airlines from the United States managed to grow their flight volume compared to their pre-COVID level: Allegiant Air, Frontier Airlines, and Cape Air. Besides that, Mexico’s Vivaareobus operated almost 34% more flights. On top of that, it seems that U.S. airlines did a very good job: Allegiant, Frontier, and Cape Air operated more flights than in pre-COVID time.

IATAAirlineCountryNo. Flights June ’21No. Flights June ‘19Difference
DPPobeda7,8945,12454.1
VBVivaaerobus8,3056,20133.9
U6Ural Airlines6,7495,50222.7
IDBatik Air9,7338,37316.2
G4Allegiant Air12,52511,08013.0
F9Frontier Airlines13,44912,14910.7
Y4Volaris12,70111,6019.5
KCAir Astana4,0093,8304.7
9KCape Air9,6089,2663.7
MFXiamen Airlines19,77719,4081.9
List of Airlines With More Flights Than Pre-COVID
Boeing 737-800 der Pobeda
Russia’s Pobeda increased its flight volume by more than 50% compared to pre-COVID — Photo: Dmitry Petrov

List of Airlines With More Than 90% of Flights Compared to Pre-COVID

The following table contains airlines that are already pretty close to their pre-COVID flight volume level. With Go Air, China Eastern Airlines, and Air China, three out of seven airlines are based in Asia. However, even more, interesting to see that another two Russian airlines are on the list. Norwegian carrier Wiederoe represents the first European airline that is close to its pre-COVID flight volume.

IATAAirlineCountryNo. Flights June ’21No. Flights June ‘19Difference
G8Go Air8,0518,2602.5
MUChina Eastern Airlines64,00066,0743.1
CAAir China39,24341,3425.1
WFWideroe’s8,9109,3985.2
NKSpirit Airlines18,68519,9476.3
UTUTair6,7287,2076.6
S7S7 Airlines12,60913,7648.4
List of Airlines With More Than 90% of Flights Compared to Pre-COVID
With 64,000 flights, China Eastern operated only 2,000 flights less compared to pre-COVID
With 64,000 flights, China Eastern operated only 2,000 flights less compared to pre-COVID

List of Airlines With 80% – 90% of Flights Compared to Pre-COVID

The traffic volume of the below airlines is 10% – 20% short compared to pre-COVID flight volume. Nevertheless, it is amazing to see that American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are already playing in that league and operated more than 100,000 flights in June. Moreover, airlines from the United States again show a powerful performance.

IATAAirlineCountryNo. Flights June ’21No. Flights June ‘19Difference
AAAmerican Airlines173,464203,58214.8
WNSouthwest Airlines100,689118,37214.9
ZHShenzhen Airlines18,45421,70915.0
NZAir New Zealand12,35514,70916.0
ASAlaska Airlines33,86240,33316.0
ZLRegional Express5,0556,05316.5
QGCitilink8,10010,07519.6
B6JetBlue25,06031,19319.7
List of Airlines With 80% – 90% of Flights Compared to Pre-COVID

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List of Airlines With 70% – 80% of Flights Compared to Pre-COVID

The following table contains airlines that are at a 70% to 80% pre-COVID traffic level. In that case, we have a mixed picture of airlines from South America, Africa, North America, Europe, and Asia. With Air France, we have the first major European airline on this list.

IATAAirlineCountryNo. Flights June ’21No. Flights June ‘19Difference
JQJetstar Airways7,5109,56221.5
JTLion Air12,64416,22522.1
AFAir France22,56529,21622.8
PCPegasus12,01215,56722.8
DLDelta Air Lines129,989171,63824.3
SUAeroflot23,87731,65024.6
OAOlympic Air4,8046,39024.8
ETEthiopian Airlines7,48910,11825.9
ADAzul17,23323,35426.2
AMAeromexico12,71317,25126.3
HUHainan Airlines17,16723,58527.2
HAHawaiian Airlines6,0358,37427.9
QFQantas Airways15,83522,13628.5
7CJeju Airlines4,8586,91829.8
List of Airlines With 70% – 80% of Flights Compared to Pre-COVID

List of Airlines With 60% – 70% of Flights Compared to Pre-COVID

The below-shown airlines are hit considerably hard. Accordingly, their flight volume is between 30% and 40% below their pre-COVID level. Interesting to see that United Airlines shows the weakest performance of the big U.S. carriers.

IATAAirlineCountryNo. Flights June ’21No. Flights June ‘19Difference
V7Volotea4,9117,20031.8
UAUnited Airlines106,801162,13534.1
SVSaudi Arabian Airlines12,26418,76234.6
XYflynas3,7325,73634.9
W6Wizz Air11,44117,67035.3
QRQatar Airways9,73815,16335.8
TKTurkish Airlines26,17442,28338.1
XQSunExpress3,3985,60239.3
List of Airlines With 60% – 70% of Flights Compared to Pre-COVID

List of Airlines With 50% – 60% of Flights Compared to Pre-COVID

With the worsening impact, the number of European airlines increases and U.S. airlines decrease. Iberia, KLM, and Ryanair are still almost 50% behind their pre-COVID level. Same accounts for Latin’s big players, such as Copa or LATAM.

IATAAirlineCountryNo. Flights June ’21No. Flights June ‘19Difference
JLJapan Airlines14,41824,83942.0
VAVirgin Australia7,74113,36042.1
IWWings Air6,40011,23643.0
IBIberia10,39318,53243.9
KLKLM12,70822,69744.0
LALATAM20,09437,42246.3
CMCopa Airlines5,33310,14147.4
FRRyanair38,35573,32847.7
NHAll Nippon Airways19,44637,48248.1
MSEgyptair3,6217,08748.9
List of Airlines With 50% – 60% of Flights Compared to Pre-COVID

List of Airlines With 40% – 50% of Flights Compared to Pre-COVID

The below airlines operated less than half of their pre-COVID flight volume. Although we have a mixed filled, European and Middle East airlines dominate the list.

IATAAirlineCountryNo. Flights June ’21No. Flights June ‘19Difference
FZflydubai3,0336,08350.1
X3TUIfly1,8833,79250.3
AVAvianca10,08921,33452.7
RJRoyal Jordanian1,5463,27052.7
VYVueling10,10021,40652.8
A3Aegean Airlines2,2674,88353.6
HVTransavia2,5655,60054.2
TPTAP Air Portugal5,12611,92657.0
LOLOT Polish Airlines4,67711,07357.8
6EIndiGo17,66942,05258.0
G3GOL8,20619,67158.3
List of Airlines With 40% – 50% of Flights Compared to Pre-COVID

List of Airlines With 30% – 40% of Flights Compared to Pre-COVID

And now it’s getting really worse. The below airlines are between 60% – 70% down from their pre-COVID levels. And sad to see so many big players among the list: Emirates, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, or SAS.

IATAAirlineCountryNo. Flights June ’21No. Flights June ‘19Difference
SGSpiceJet6,68816,80660.2
OZAsiana3,2018,31461.5
AIAir India5,75015,05261.8
GFGulf Air1,7664,63061.9
EKEmirates5,62915,81264.4
AZAlitalia6,17717,67365.0
LHLufthansa16,08846,69065.5
EYEtihad Airways2,5397,44665.9
SQSingapore Airlines2,6187,74366.2
GAGaruda Indonesia4,49613,34666.3
OSAustrian Airlines4,34413,03866.7
LYEl Al9632,96567.5
SKSAS7,66025,35969.8
List of Airlines With 30% – 40% of Flights Compared to Pre-COVID

List of Airlines With Less Than 30% of Flights Compared to Pre-COVID

Now we reached the bottom. The below airlines operate only 30% or less of their pre-COVID flight volume.

IATAAirlineCountryNo. Flight June ’21No. Flights June ’19Difference
KEKorean Air3,93313,31870.5
G9Air Arabia1,7105,79270.5
LXSwiss Air Lines3,91513,54471.1
CXCathay Pacific1,9988,29275.9
VNVietnam Airlines3,11013,03276.1
EWEurowings5,24622,14576.3
PRPhilippine Airlines2,42010,39576.7
KUKuwait Airways6212,70977.1
U2Easyjet12,31055,99978.0
BABritish Airways6,71431,94879.0
AYFinnair2,30411,13779.3
DYNorwegian2,17610,77879.8
5JCebu Pacific1,8149,37180.6
MHMalaysia Airlines2,29112,04181.0
WSWestJet3,90420,74181.2
ACAir Canada8,61547,68081.9
EIAer Lingus1,5049,85884.7
WYOman Air8256,20386.7
List of Airlines With Less Than 30% of Flights Compared to Pre-COVID

Used Data

The shown information is based on OAG data and internal data sources. Rankings only included airlines that operated more than 500 flights in the respective month. However, the global benchmark includes all tracked flights. On average, 280 airlines are included in each month’s analysis. Whenever stated, EMEA refers to airlines based in Europe, the Middle East, or Africa.

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Benjamin is a content-maniac, music-lover, aviation-enthusiast, and CEO of Information Design (in this order). His daily business revolves around pioneering solutions to change the way airlines, airports, and aviators use information. His visions are based on expertise gained in more than 15 years in the industry and working with renowned airlines + airports worldwide.

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