FlightAware Discussions

Any interesting trends from Covid-19

By definition, “Breaking News” is just “newly received information about an event that is currently occurring or developing.”
If they were to claim “Headline News” or “Frontpage News” then yes would be a little over the top! :slight_smile:

Keeping on topic, I dont quite yet see the winter traffic downturn happening here in UK… But the graph sortof maybe is showing it to start?

maybe confusing for a non-native speaker.

If “breaking news” on a red banner appears on german TV, it’s always like an “Attention, attention. Something terrible is going on…”

But thinking more it’s used also for things like “Bayern München won the last match…”
So i think the media use it too excessive for almost everything

1 Like

Only a very little peak on Monday morning, downtrend overall continues.
Not that increase as we expected it.

That’s from a Radarcape device mounted on a skyscraper building near Frankfurt with pretty good coverage across Germany. Also not that big impact

Grabbing the overall data from Flightradar (because of the nice graphs :slight_smile: ) it looks like the total number of flights in 2019 has been achieved already. Only the commercial flights are still a bit behind.

The last monday with the US flights did not have that much impact as expected, at least not on my location:

Not really about Covid, but since we talked about survey flights before. All in a day’s work for MARC, Inc. surveying Alamance County in North Carolina.

The airspace is getting more and more quiet.

Never seen such a low number of aircraft at this time of the day since months:

There’s more traffic to the west!

I cannot confirm it:

Last time i had < 1900 aircraft was in June

You’re right, yesterday was a very calm day for both of my feeders

Number increased a bit compared to yesterday timeline, but not that much.
Normal for a sunday where the fest frequent travellers for the weekdays are already en route


21:45 - typical sunday evening traffic:

Beside the bad fact that Germany currently does break the infection record almost every day the flight traffic downtrend continues:


The US officially announced a travel statement to countries in Europe like Germany and Austria.


So the number of US flights will decrease again

Update Nov26th:

First countries impose travel bans due to new south african mutation B.1.1.529

Where I’m at I get to watch a lot of mediflights. Helicopters mostly but some singles and twins for longer hauls. We have a problem in New Mexico with some regions with large unvaccinated populations and that’s where the mediflights are still going - ferrying patients from areas with full hospitals or who need more or other care.

Obviously I can’t see into those flights to know why they are flying but with as many going to those hot spots as there are, it seems likely it’s still covid causing a lot of them. Hospital to hospital flights. Sometimes we’ll have 5 or so mediflights in the air at once when usually it’s one or none like that short window back before delta hit. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a helo fly to a highway to pick up accident victims but spotted one today.

1 Like

The Philippines’ borders have been closed to most foreign tourists but they’re considering reopening them soon to people from certain green-listed countries including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and a few in the middle east (there aren’t likely to be tourists from most of the other green-listed countries and places such as American Samoa, the Falkland Islands and Sudan for example) and possibly as well as those from other countries that are both fully vaccinated and have tested negative within the past 72 hours, so there may be an increase in air traffic next year. That would be nice: my daily record for number of aircraft seen is 110 since I began feeding in September, so hopefully that will go up next year.

It seems that those from green-listed countries won’t have to face a 5-day quarantine or take a swab test when entering the Phils if they’re completely vaccinated, just self-monitor for flu-like symptoms. Those from yellow countries and the partially vaccinated from green countries can be admitted but will have to have the swab test and undergo the quarantine period. So we may get some more surfers, snorkelers, beach-goers, “foodies” etc. coming here again which might mean more flights.

Due to the new virus variant identified in south-africa, many flights are restricted to/from that country. I am sure more will follow.

From what I’ve read about this new variant, we’re in for another wild ride. IIRC, the delta variant was only twice as infectious as alpha but this omicron one is looking to be 5x as infectious as delta. And it is looking like it also bypasses vaccine protections at least some and maybe a lot. If it’s by a lot where nobody has significant protection, that 5x on infectious is going to make it where it just sweeps through populations. Where I’m at, thanks to delta’s 2x increase in infectiousness over alpha, our state is back to lots of full hospitals in low vaccination regions and filling hospitals in higher vaccination regions. But if a new strain sidesteps the vaccinations and truly is that much more infectious, things could get really bad. And really, odds are probably good it’s already here in the US and other major countries even as borders do shut down.

Unfortunately the mutations that make up this new variant are also known to impact the quality of results in tests used to determine if people have covid. I haven’t seen numbers and don’t have any feel for how strong the effect is, but scientists are concerned. In plain speak, our current covid tests may or may not see this new mutation by some degree so we could be getting none, some, or a lot of false negatives. But again, don’t know how big of an effect this is for omicron.


Anyway, I’m afraid we might see big impacts on air travel soon. It’s my understanding planes themselves are pretty safe and those little nozzles give you a kind of air curtain. But terminals and such are a different story and a 5x more infectious (if that holds true) is big time. We were coming out of mask requirements last summer and that’s when delta hit. This is our first winter with delta and here at least, we are definitely seeing the effects of its 2x over alpha.

Hold on and be safe.

There are currently not enough information available.
If you ask 10 different experts, you will get at least 5 different opinions

What we know it arrived already in Europe.
Our local institutes highly recommend to reduce contacts as much as possible, think about a shutdown of several non-necessary areas. Also school holidays to start earlier is discussed.

But we should stay away from conspiracy regarding the impact on tests and vaccination.

It’s not conspiracy about tests. I posted a link where it is being and has been discussed and I said nothing that wasn’t backed up by that article at the link. It’s just how it is.

The DNA sequencing tests certainly detect all forms of covid and is how omicron was discovered. But the other tests to varying degrees use molecular templates that match and fit specific features of the virus. Depending on how the test is designed, it may be more specific or less. The more specific a test is, the less likely it will see a strong response from this highly mutated variant. Some tests use mixtures of templates to be more general but the jury is still out on which tests see omicron and to what extent. Those tests tend to have higher thresholds for a positive test anyway. If the omicron mutation set is less of a match, detection limits will increase and some sick might still test negative - a false negative.

I included that information for those who might want to modify routines and behaviors just in case. Apparently omicron is able to spread among vaccinated easier than delta according to Boris Johnson. That fits with preliminary estimates of 5x infectiousness and sidestepping vaccinations to some extent. I haven’t seen anything on severity of the sickness it causes aside from South African hospitals filling quickly which implies there is some level of health risk but don’t know how much.

It was just a heads up and nobody needs to do anything based on it. But the stuff about evading tests to whatever extent is absolutely real and just a consequence of how the tests work. The people developing the tests know this stuff and again, according to the FDA in the US:

“Currently, COVID-19 tests are designed to check broadly for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including the SARS-CoV-2 delta variant. It is common for all viruses to change and mutate over time, resulting in different virus strains. The FDA works closely with test developers to identify potential impacts of virus mutations on FDA authorized COVID-19 tests and help ensure there is minimal impact on test performance.”

The issue is that omicron is heavily mutated (some 50+ mutations in one package) and while that is expected to have some impact on test accuracy, they are working to determine by how much. But the FDA itself says there are likely false negatives with this new mutation collection. It’s something folks should be alert to in order to evaluate danger for themselves. This new one has a number of red flags about it.

The FDA is one organisation. In Europe the experts might have a complete different opinion if you follow the news.

I am off from that discussion as it doesn’t belong to the topic any longer

Wait a minute, if this is the omicron variant then I fear for the health of us flight feeders when the next variant pops up. After all, the next letter in the Greek alphabet after Omicron is … Pi !!!