Before the pandemic planes were nearly 80% full. Now, thanks to the pandemic, the few planes that are left flying are 80% empty. 

With so few people onboard why are the airlines flying these empty planes at all? Why not just park them? After all, each flight costs them a lot of money.

According to representatives of the airlines, the government has declared air travel an "essential" service. Airlines must keep routes functioning, even if the plane is completely empty.

Keeping planes on schedule means those routes remain open. If you want to compare normal flight routes to what the air looks like now, we've got a whole post on that already.

But doing it this way would run the airlines broke in a very short time - were it not for the $50 billion dollars the federal government is giving the airlines in the form of an emergency pandemic bailout.

Another reason to keep routes running, is pilots must remain proficient to keep their certification to fly. Ground them too long, and they will have to get re-certified before the airlines can get up to 100% again after the pandemic.

The good news in all of this is that when the nation starts moving again there will be a period of time when the airlines are offering bargain flights to anywhere, just to get you up there.


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