Flight statistics: How many flights are cancelled, and more

(Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash)

Have you wondered how safe flying is? Do you want to know how many flights are cancelled daily? Here you will find these and more interesting flight statistics.

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Flight statistics you want to know

How many planes are currently flying?

At the time of writing, there are about 11,600 planes in the sky around the world, according to Flightradar24.

How many people flew in 2019?

According to Statista, the number of scheduled passengers boarded by the global airline industry was 4,543 million in 2019. There has been a steady growth since 2009, thanks to the emergence of low-cost carriers, plus the growth of airport infrastructure spending. In 2020, before COVID 19, the number increased to 4,723 million.

Logically, it plummeted to 1,795 million post-COVID. This is the lowest number the world has seen in a long while. It represents a 60% loss in global air passenger traffic. Back in 2004, the number was 1,994 million.

In 2021, there has been some slight improvement - the numbers so far show 2,808 million air passengers. However, air travel is still slow to recover, as the next portion of flight statistics will show.

How many flights are performed yearly?

The picture here is similar. In 2019, the number of flights performed by the global airline industry was 38.9 million.

In 2020, pre-COVID, it was 40.3 million. The steady growth over the last 16 years is thanks to increasing living standards and decreasing costs of air travel.

Then the numbers collapsed: 16.4 million in 2020 post-COVID, and 22.2 million this year so far. The slight increase shows that the aviation industry is somewhat recovering, but because of the pandemic, it is a long way from the numbers of previous years.

How safe is flying?

Now, the question that many people ask, and not only anxious first-time flyers. People are often more afraid of flying than travelling by car. However, air transport is in fact a safer choice.

That’s a bit morbid, but look at the US Census data - the odds of:

  • dying as a plane passenger = 1 in 205,552;
  • dying as a cyclist = 1 in 4,050;
  • drowning = 1 in 1,086;
  • dying in a car crash = 1 in 102.

The low odds for a fatal flight crash are due to many technological improvements to aircraft, as well as the carefully regulated international air travel system.

How many flights are cancelled?

According to FlightAware, 841 fights have been cancelled today. Add to this the total number of 2,481 delays for the day, and you’ll receive numerous angry passengers.

Think about your flight statistics. Have you had any disrupted flights in the past 3 years?

Check whether you’re eligible for flight compensation - we will help you claim it.

Stay safe!