Airlines operated 49 per cent fewer flights compared to 2019, while passenger traffic was down 67 per cent. There were also only 16.8 million flights operated in 2020, the lowest since 1999.
'This severe setback shows the true extent of the challenge faced by the struggling aviation sector as it has sought to reset itself in the new post-Covid-19 era,' said London-based Cirium CEO Jeremy Bowen.
Although domestic flights typically ruled the skies this year, it was still down 40 per cent, dropping from 21.5 million flights to 13 million. International flights dropped 68 per cent, from 11.7 million international flights to 3.8 million.
The busiest day in 2020 for flights was January 3, while 95,000 flights occurred. The slowest day was April 25, when only 13,600 flights happened, demonstrating an 86 per cent drop.
Atlanta was the busiest airport, handling over 250,800 arriving flights in 2020. South Korea had the busiest route, as 71,900 flights operated between Seoul and Jeju.
'Cirium is confident aviation will weather this difficult and terrible year and emerge in better shape - with younger more fuel-efficient aircraft and right-sized fleets - and will gradually navigate its way to recovery in the years ahead,' said Mr. Bowen.