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How many aircraft are actually parked at the moment?

Johanna Koyser
12.05.2020
2 minutes

If you look up into the sky at the moment, you can hardly see any planes. Since this state of affairs has been going on for weeks now, memories of times when you could watch airplanes in the sky or during landing and take-off maneuvers at minute intervals in some places often fade. But if you take a look at the airports, a different picture emerges. Because this is where the planes are parked that are missing in the sky. The Swiss aviation analysis company ch-aviation published data on precisely this aspect today.

In the study, ch-aviation looks at all major aviation markets worldwide. More precisely, the data from the airlines based in the individual countries. As of today, a total of 18,496 aircraft worldwide are on the ground, or in other words, 57% of all aircraft worldwide are parked. However, if you look at the corresponding data from three weeks ago, a slight trend becomes apparent. On April 24th, 59% were still on the ground. This means that in the meantime, around 500 aircraft have been able to take to the skies again.

Moreover, there are regional differences. For example, the increase in the number of active aircraft can be explained mainly by the reactivation of parked aircraft in Asia, especially in China. Currently, ⅘ of the aircraft are flying there again, in contrast to February, when ⅓ of all aircraft remained parked. Whether these figures give reason to breathe a sigh of relief at this point in time, however, remains uncertain. In the United States, an aviation market that is even larger than China’s, 45% of all aircraft are grounded, and the trend is rather upward.

Parked aircraft worldwide

aktiveTotal%, parked
United States4481810745%
China3134392520%
Russian Federation557116852%
Canada370102964%
United Kingdom22289975%
India18384478%
Japan49672031%
Germany22270368%
Australia28067659%
Indonesia14764177%

Source of data: ch-aviation

Picture © Kyaw Naing

by Johanna Koyser

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