Rebecca Batchelor

Depressing Data (and an even worse joke)

There is a lot of depressing data out there. There is the daily Covd-19 death and infections tracker. The rapid rise in people signing on for unemployment benefit around the world. Record lows being reached in purchasing manager optimism surveys and stock market indices.

This week, we also get to see flight activity data from WINGX and Argus TRAQPak. And, yes, it was also depressing.

WINGX says that North American flight activity in March was down by just under 30%, with Asia and Europe closer to 35% down.

“The abruptness of the decline in business aviation activity this month is only comparable to the effect of the Eyjafjallaj√∂kull volcano eruption back in 2010, only with much longer and more severe consequences,” says Richard Koe, managing director, WINGX.

Argus TRAQ Pak data says that US business aircraft flights were down 29.4% for the first 29 days of March 2020, compared with the same period in 2019.

Flights in the first 10 days of March were only down 5%.But the number of business aircraft flights between March 18 and 24 dropped 46.8%. It expects March 2020 to be down 27.8% compared with March 2019.

“Without a doubt, the aggressive yet necessary steps taken to contain the COVID-19 pandemic have had a chilling effect on the aviation industry,” said Joe Moeggenberg, CEO of ARGUS International.

On another note, there has been a lot of discussion about how to sanitise aircraft to stop the spread of Covid-19. This morning I called Oxford University to speak with the head of their virology department.

“What is the best thing to clean hard surfaces like galley tops?” I asked.

He said: “Ammonia cleaner.”

I replied: “I am so sorry. I thought you were a professor.”

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