How Many Airlines Have Stopped Flying Completely in the Coronavirus Crisis?

an aerial view of an airport

It’s amazing how quickly things have escalated in the coronavirus crisis.  Things that were seemingly impossible are happening left and right.  I’ve been largely absent from blogging for the past few months dealing with professional and personal challenges.  The current crisis has consumed a great deal of my time for work-related items. But, I really want to write.  It’s somewhat cathartic for me.  So far, I’ve written about:

I’ve continued to watch the announcements about reductions in airline service (and even a couple of shocking retractions of service cuts).  The number of cuts is a bit of mind-numbing.  I wanted to dig into that a bit more, especially after discussing it on my podcast last week.  Here’s that podcast episode, but feel free to skip to the numbers below if you’re more interested in reading about it:

There are a handful of really smart aviation folks tracking a list of the status of airlines around the world.  You should check them out:

There are roughly 50 (fifty!) airlines around the world that have grounded their entire fleet.  Sure, some of them are names you probably haven’t heard yet, like Laudamotion or Qazaq Air.  But, plenty of airlines like Austrian Airlines are ones I’ve flown and you probably do know.

You can find the full list that these folks are keeping updated here.  And, here’s a quick snapshot of some of the airlines completely shut down:

a screenshot of a table

You might not see a lot of names you know there, but if you drop down the list a bit (you only have to go to 99%) you’ll find airlines like Ryanair and SAS.  In fact, popular names at 90% or above include:

  • Lufthansa
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Air France
  • Emirates
  • easyJet

It appears Delta is the highest major carrier from the US at 70%.

The Final Two Pennies

It’s stunning to see how many airlines are virtually grounded.  I’ve never seen the likes of this for such a protracted time.  Sure, there were massive groundings during 9/11.  But, they were somewhat short-lived compared to how this feels.  I’m going to volunteer some time to start assembling fleet sizes on that Google Doc because I’m really curious to see how many planes are actually on the ground. Just in case you thought you were going somewhere via plane, you might want to think twice.


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Featured image courtesy of Tupungato via bigstockphoto


  1. Excellent information. So glad we made the decision to leave Sweden on March 22, pretty sure we would have experienced even more difficulties getting home had we even waited a few more days.

  2. Any ideas on getting refunds on canceled flights that the airlines say they do not have to refund? Such as Air France and Air Canada thanks

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