The picture on the above left depicts the actual air traffic over Europe on Friday, February 28, 2020. The picture on the right shows air traffic over the same region on Friday, March 27 as the coronavirus pandemic has spread throughout the continent, causing major disruptions in air travel.
The contrast between the two photos, snapped by a radar at the exact same time, speaks louder than words as airlines around the world are choosing to ground flights rather than fly empty aircraft.
As the COVID-19 crisis continues to affect the skies, some airlines have been forced by a government mandate to remain grounded.
Travel bans and airspace closures also have contributed to the temporary suspensions of operations in over 50 airlines, ranging from global national carriers to small regional airlines.
While demand for travel is already at a record low, airlines are struggling to find airports to land at, with entire nations shutting down their borders in a desperate attempt to prevent an outbreak of the virus that has infected thousands and shown little regard for national boundaries.
With air travel believed to be the primary means of the virus’ spread, airlines are the first target of nations which are desperately attempting to protect their citizenry.
European, Asian, and Middle Eastern countries primarily have seen their airlines temporarily shut down, with some of the world’s largest airlines forced to cancel countless flights and leaving travelers rushing to get in the air before it’s too late.
In the US, airlines have greatly reduced their operations but many are still flying as the country’s airspace still remains open.