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This week’s Flight Friday looks at how the pandemic recovery compares to 2019, the last “normal” (base) year.

Overall annual flight hours for 2022 were just over 80% of 2019’s total hours. Cycles, by contrast, were just above 83% of 2019 totals, suggesting that the number of shorter flights are returning quicker than long haul flights, which doesn’t come as a huge surprise.

The data shows that from June 2022, flight hours have been above 80% of their equivalent month in 2019. This shows that while the market is recovering, it is not back to pre-pandemic levels.

The recent announcement of China removing its zero-COVID policy will in the short-term lead to a little more uncertainty in people’s travel movements as China deals with the new wave of infections. Hopefully the longer term outlook for the aviation industry will look a little brighter, as China was the last large market to open up.

With global conflicts, geo-political tensions, supply chain and workforce issues, there shall remain a level of uncertainty within the industry, but as supply chain and workforce issues slowly begin to resolve over the coming months/quarters/year(s), then we shall see more clarity in the tracked aircraft data.

This data was put together using Aviation Week Network’s Tracked Aircraft Utilization tool – find out more.

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