Vietnam, with its borders still closed to the world, actually has more domestic flying scheduled now than they had a year ago. Vietnam is one of the countries that did the best battling COVID-19, despite sharing a land border with China. They haven’t had a single death.
South Korea clamped down on virus spread quickly and effectively. Granted it’s largely the earlier, less infective strain they were dealing with. Nonetheless they’re a real success story so far. Their domestic airline capacity never declined more than one third, and it’s now over 90% of what it was a year ago.
China, too, has brought back substantial flying – and is at nearly 85% of the domestic seat capacity that it was a year ago. That may not be all driven by demand, but by a mandate to keep workers employed and the economy moving even when flights aren’t full.
One that’s a bit more vexing is Russia, which has among the most confirmed COVID cases in the world, where spread hasn’t slowed very much, and where in many places hospitals are still more likely they were during the Soviet era than not.
The CAPA Centre for Aviation used OAG schedule data to come up with the countries that have restored the most flying, and I include the top 11:
In contrast, domestic flying in the U.K. is only at 17% of what it was a year ago. And South Africa, which is currently battling a major outbreak along with a bankrupt flag carrier, is seeing less than 10% of the seats flying inside the country that it was at the same time in 2019.
Currently Colombia is seeing just 1% of the domestic flights that it did a year ago, with both Avianca and LATAM in bankruptcy.
And of course there are some countries where there’s no domestic flying, like Hong Kong and Singapore, but that was true before as well.