How Covid-19 changed the skies: Charting the pandemic's effect on travel one year after the UAE first paused flights

18 February, 2021
By the finish of 2019, aviation had entered what plenty of have dubbed a second golden age. Airlines were making a earnings, pilots were in strong demand and flying was more rapidly, cheaper and more comfortable than ever before, leading to a record saturated in passenger numbers.

A complete of 4.5 billion people flew on an aircraft in 2019 - equal to almost 60 per cent of the world’s people. In the same period, an average of 12.5 million persons boarded among the 128,000 flights operated every day, according to data from the International Air Transport Association (Iata).

In the UAE, the trend was magnified. In November 2019, the 16th iteration of the Dubai Airshow shut with $54.5 billion in orders on the books, including aircraft sales to global airlines such as for example Russia’s Aurora, Air Senegal and Kazakhstan’s Air Astana.

On residence turf and buoyed by a 21 per cent increase in profits in 2019, in comparison with 2018, Emirates placed a $16 billion buy for 50 Airbus A350 XWBs and an $8.8 billion order for 30 new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

Down the road in Abu Dhabi, Etihad was also gaining strength. The national airline of the UAE slash its losses from $1.95 billion in 2018 to $870 million in 2019, and was making the most of a 2 per cent upsurge in passenger load factor.

Etihad used the 2019 Dubai Airshow to announce a good collaboration with Boeing that involved branding among its new Boeing 787 Dreamliners as the Greenliner. The task, Etihad said, allows the airline and its own partners to experiment with a variety of initiatives that would make flying more environmentally sustainable.

Less than six weeks in the future, the lights commenced to dim on this chapter of aviation background, as the market found itself embroiled found in the repercussions of a great outbreak of a good little-known virus, while it began with Wuhan, China.

In order to make an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus via flights, airports all over the world introduced additional screening measures for passengers flying from China. When this didn't halt the spread, countries opted to cancel flights to and from China, in what will be the primary in some events that would hurtle the sector towards the worst crisis in aviation history.

Grinding to a halt
Exactly 99 days following the 2019 Dubai Airshow commenced, the UAE made the decision to ground its first flights. THE OVERALL Civil Aviation Authority declared on February 25, 2020 that jets bound for Iran, where in fact the coronavirus was spreading swiftly, would be halted for at least seven days.

This FlightRadar24 image shows the impact just one single evening later, on February 26. Slide the bar across to do a comparison of air site visitors from the same time, one year prior.

One month later, on March 25, UAE authorities announced that inbound, outbound and transit passenger flights to and from the country would temporarily halt. The skies above among the world's busiest overseas passenger hubs fell silent on March 26. The same situation enjoyed out at Abu Dhabi AIRPORT TERMINAL.

UAE air site visitors: month-by-month in 2020
The impact of Covid-19 on air traffic above the UAE can be easily tracked using flight radar maps.

Live air traffic service FlightRadar24 tracks jets on the air across the world just about every day of the entire year. The below info shows air traffic over the Emirates starting in March, when passenger flights to and from the united states were first grounded, until the end of the entire year.

The info was tracked at 2pm, UAE time, on the fourth Tuesday of the month. Click on through the slides to see how the skies altered in 2020.