Industry Update
External Article25 March 2020

The Latest On Which Airlines Are Still Flying And Why

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forbes.com external

This article from Friday pointed out that contrary to the expectations of many, there were still a huge number of flights operating around the globe. Incredibly, even as COVID-19 has shut borders and sent millions into self-isolation at home, you can book flights to a variety of destinations, and for the most part prices are good.

As expected that picture has changed somewhat over the past few days, with new announcements of airline shutdowns, new border closings, and a corresponding drop in flights. Emirates made headlines announcing they would soon stop all passenger flights - a particularly unsettling announcement for those who follow aviation because of just how big Emirates is. (Emirates revised that a few hours later to say a small percentage of flights would continue, but then the UAE instituted a blanket ban on all flights for 14 days, meaning the shut down, though temporary, would indeed be total.) And Asia has seen a number of new cuts even as the situation there was seeming to improve, with new lockdowns being put in place to protect against a renewed wave of coronavirus infections as people return to the region.

And yet on Sunday Flightradar24 measured 102,181 total flights. That's down 30,000 from Friday, but it's still a six-figure count. Keep in mind this includes all manner of flights and is not just made up of commercial service on big jets. There are private flights, general aviation (small planes), helicopter flights to oil rigs, military flights, medical evacuations and more. Still more are special flights run by major airlines, for example to repatriate citizens. But there's one sector in particular providing a boost, and even making money as this unprecedented global crisis unfolds.

Read the full article at Forbes

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