Experts say NZ is a 'case study' for how aviation industry will rebuild post COVID-19

New Zealand is slowly, very slowly, getting back in the air.
New Zealand is slowly, very slowly, getting back in the air. Photo credit: Getty.

New Zealand's shift towards COVID-19 alert level 1 and beyond has caught the interest of an international team of data researchers, analysts and market experts studying the movement of the aviation industry.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Cirium has been tracking the changes to the aviation and travel market on a daily basis. 

In a recent update, the organisation said New Zealand "presents an interesting case study" into how we should expect domestic aviation markets to begin recovering from COVID-19.

Cirium analyses flight data every day.
Cirium analyses flight data every day. Photo credit: Cirium

Aircraft tracking data which shows all flight activity in and around Aotearoa up to and including May 30 clearly shows when domestic travel was no longer restricted.

"Flight activity for regional turboprops is trending strongly upwards, closely followed by Airbus A320 narrowbodies," Cirium says.

The report says Air New Zealand's widebody operations are far less active and the smaller Boeing 787-9 was being used far more than 777s.

The global drop in number of flights due to COVID-19.
The global drop in number of flights due to COVID-19. Photo credit: Cirium

"These usage patterns are reflective of the expectation that domestic markets will recover first, followed by intra-regional and finally intercontinental."

Overall, New Zealand operators have just over half of their passenger aircraft in service. 

Air NZ is using more than two-thirds of its 23 De Havilland Dash 8 Q300 turboprops, but fewer than half of its 34 A320/A321s.

Total number of passenger aircraft in storage.
Total number of passenger aircraft in storage. Photo credit: Cirium

Internationally, the same group reported just an additional 29 commercial aircraft taking to the skies compared to the week before. That minor increase is not large enough to change the percentage of aircraft currently in storage - which is currently 57 percent of the tracked fleet worldwide.

There are currently 14,970 passenger aircraft grounded due to COVID-19.

Contact Newshub with your story tips:
news@newshub.co.nz