Flight Friday: Where Are We Now? Comparing U.S. Domestic And International Traffic Between 2019-2023

American Airlines

Credit: Joe Pries

#FlightFriday this week takes a nuanced look at how U.S. operators now fly domestically and internationally, by flight hours, compared to the equivalent month in 2019.

Summer of 2020, the U.S. domestic market began to return, as many global restrictions were still in place; this was the way for U.S. operators to try to generate cash flow. As restrictions began to lift through the end of 2020, more international flights started to creep back into the network. International flying, as a percentage of the equivalent month in 2019, remained flat for most of 2021. However, domestic flights again started to move towards 2019 levels.


From April 2022, domestic and international were operating at around 90% of 2019 levels, but as the year ended, the domestic percentage declined a little; however, the international percentage climbed to nearly 99%.

Now, in 2023, with virtually all restrictions lifted (for now), operators are looking at re-inserting international destinations, but with Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, some international routes will take longer to come back into the system.

This data was put together by using Aviation Week’s Tracked Aircraft Utilization tool.