Flight Friday: Global Domestic Aircraft Usage Tops Pre-COVID Levels For First Time

China Lunar New Year travel Jan 12 2023
Credit: Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images

This week's #FlightFriday brings us more good news!

For the first time since the pandemic started, domestic hours have exceeded the equivalent month in 2019. Buoyed by China’s reversal of its zero-COVID policy, combined with the Lunar New Year, global domestic travel in January 2023 was 1% higher than January 2019.


International travel still lags the equivalent month in 2019. However, it has recovered to its highest level since the coronavirus outbreak, and now sits at 82.5% of the equivalent month in 2019.

Combined numbers show that overall hours are at 91% of January 2019.

This data was put together using Aviation Week’s Tracked Aircraft Utilization tool.

Daniel Williams

Based in the UK, Daniel is the Manager of Fleet, Flight and Forecast data for Aviation Week Network. Prior to joining Aviation Week in 2017, Daniel held a number of industry positions analyzing fleet data.