OpenFlights

News from OpenFlights, the site for flight logging, mapping, stats and sharing


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State of the Data: One million flights!

Calloo, callay, what a frabjous day!  On December 11, 2011, the number of flights entered into OpenFlights crossed the one million mark.  It’s quite a milestone, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for making it possible.  It took just over a year to double the flight count from 500,000, so let’s see what has changed since then.

Top 10 Airlines

Airline 500k rank World rank
1 United/Continental 1 (+2) 1
2 Lufthansa 2 5
3 Delta/Northwest 3 (-2) 2
4 American Airlines 4 4
5 Air France-KLM 5 8
6 British Airways 7 (+1) ?
7 Ryanair 8 (+1) ?
8 US Airways 9 (+1) 7
9 Scandinavian 10 (+1) 10
10 Qantas new ?

Yet another mega-merger brings United/Continental to the top in both IATA’s 2010 stats and on OpenFlights, beating Lufthansa by a hair and pushing reigning champion Delta/Northwest back into 3rd place.  But the rest of the list, astonishingly, is static: since Continental was swallowed by United, its newly freed slot pulls up everybody below #5 up a notch and squeaks Qantas back onto the board at #10 after a near-three-year hiatus, but their ordering is the same.

So who’s missing?  World #2 Southwest continues to be disdained by OpenFlyers, who rank it at #20, a notch down from the previous #19.   Perhaps emboldened by our recent launch in Chinese, new world #6 China Southern Airlines has climbed up six spots but remains distant at #43, with world #9 China Eastern Airlines (world #9)  pipping it by one place to #42

A statistical sidenote: on OpenFlights, we figure out airlines from flight numbers, so regional affiliates not using their parents’ codes are not going to show up here.  Since all the majors have their own sidelines, I figure they’re all disadvantaged more or less equally, and this thus probably doesn’t make a huge difference.

Top 10 Airports

Airport 250k rank World rank
1 Frankfurt Main (FRA) 1 9
2 London-Heathrow (LHR) 2 3
3 Chicago Ohare Intl (ORD) 3 4
4 Munchen (MUC) 5 (+1) 26
5 Charles de Gaulle (CDG) 4 (-1) 6
6 Los Angeles Intl (LAX) 6 5
7 Amsterdam-Schiphol (AMS) 7 14
8 Atlanta-Hartsfield (ATL) 8 1
9 New York-John F Kennedy Intl (JFK) 9 16
10 San Francisco Intl (SFO) 10 22

No change in the top three, with Frankfurt still reigning supreme, and the rest of the list has remained static as well with the sole exception of Teutonic flyers pushing Munich back up to #4, above Charles de Gaulle.  World #2 Beijing only makes it to #24 on OpenFlights, and still no sign of newly international Haneda, although Narita shows up at #40.

And now for something a little different:

Top 3 Airlines and Airports By Language

Language Share Top 3 airlines Top 3 airports
1 English 76.5% United, Lufthansa, Delta LHR, FRA, ORD
2 Russian 7.8% Aeroflot, S7, Transaero SVO, DME, LED
3 German 7.5% Lufthansa, Air Berlin, Ryanair FRA, MUC, DUS
4 French 3.1% Air France, Lufthansa, Air Austral CDG, ORY, LYS
5 Polish 1.2% LOT Polish, Ryanair, Lufthansa WAW, KRK, KTW
6 Portuguese (Brazilian) 1.1% BRA, TAM, GOL GRU, CGH, BSB
7 Spanish 0.9% Iberia, Ryanair, Alitalia MAD, BCN, ALC
8 Finnish 0.8% Finnair, Lufthansa, Blue1 HEL, FRA, ARN
9 Swedish 0.5% SAS Scandinavian, KLM, Lufthansa ARN, CPH, GOT
10 Chinese (Mandarin) 0.4% Air China, China Southern, China Eastern PEK, SHA, SZX

Splitting up the flight database by the user’s preferred language, it’s surprising (or, on second thought, perhaps not?) how local flying still is: for Russians, Germans, French, Poles, Brazilians, Spaniards and Chinese, all three top airports are in the language’s home country.  The only international hubs that sneaks onto others’ lists are Frankfurt and Stockholm-Arlanda for the Finns and, oddly, Frankfurt for English-speakers as well — presumably simply because many of OpenFlights’ German users have not switched their language.  On the airline side, for every language the flag carrier of the home country dominates, but this time Lufthansa sneaks onto 4 lists outside Germany and Ryanair isn’t far behind at 3.

* * *

Last and least, in less happy news, we have finally put our long-ailing Facebook app out of its misery.  Ideas for what should replace it are welcome, and work is ever-so-slowly continuing on TripIt integration.

To infinity and beyond,
-jani

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State of the Data at 500,000 flights

Half a million user-entered flights!  That’s a pretty respectable number, and the way things are going, we’ll be looking at the Big One-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh sometime early next year.  What’s changed since 250,000?

Top 10 Airlines

Airline 250k rank World rank
1 Delta/Northwest 5 (+4) 1
2 Lufthansa 1 (-1) 5
3 United Airlines 2 (-1) 4
4 American Airlines 3 (-1) 3
5 Air France-KLM 7 (+2) 6
6 Continental Air Lines 4 (-2) 9
7 British Airways 6 (-1) ?
8 Ryanair 10 (+2) 8
9 US Airways 9 10
10 Scandinavian 11 (+1) ?

The big news is that Delta-Northwest grabs the top spot in both IATA’s 2009 stats and on OpenFlights, beating Lufthansa by a hair.  Similarly, Air France-KLM has leapt ahead and Ryanair continues its inexorable ascent, grabbing the 8th position in both lists.  So once again we’ve got 8 out of 10: as ever, world #2 Southwest remains striking in its absence, although it did creep up two spots to OpenFlights #19, and world #7 China Southern Airlines is a mere #49 in OpenFlights.  Chinese flyers, where are you?

A statistical sidenote: on OpenFlights, we figure out airlines from flight numbers, so regional affiliates not using their parents’ codes are not going to show up here.  Since all the majors have their own sidelines, I figure they’re all disadvantaged more or less equally, and this thus probably doesn’t make a huge difference.

Top 10 Airports

Airport 250k rank World rank
1 Frankfurt Main (FRA) 1 9
2 London-Heathrow (LHR) 2 2
3 Chicago Ohare Intl (ORD) 3 4
4 Charles de Gaulle (CDG) 6 (+2) 6
5 Munchen (MUC) 4 (-1) 30
6 Los Angeles Intl (LAX) 5 (-1) 7
7 Amsterdam-Schiphol (AMS) 8 (+1) 14
8 Atlanta-Hartsfield (ATL) 10 (+2) 1
9 New York-John F Kennedy Intl (JFK) 9 12
10 San Francisco Intl (SFO) 11 (+1) 20

No change in the top three, with Frankfurt still reigning supreme.  Charles de Gaulle, new at 250k, has climbed up another two notches to number 4, and world #1 Atlanta has avoided the ignominy of falling off the list and moved up to a more secure perch at #8.   On the other hand, Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental, which made it as high as #4 in the 100,000 stats, has now collapsed to #11.  Still no sign of Beijing or Haneda, will this change now that HND is fielding more international flights?

What next?

The next job in the never-ending OpenFlights task queue is reworking our flight import system, which is a bit too buggy for comfort at the moment, but after that is autocompletion and, yes, that should finally include using previous flight data to suggest source and destination airports, plus possibly flight times as well. Stay tuned!

Looking forward to his first million,
-jani


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State of the Data at 250,000 flights

Some time yesterday, OpenFlights passed the quarter million mark of user-entered flights.  Let’s see how the current statistics compare to what we had at 100,000

Top 10 Airlines

  Airline 100k rank World rank
1 Lufthansa 2 (+1) 6
2 United Airlines 1 (-1) 2
3 American Airlines 4 (+1) 1
4 Continental Airlines 3 (-1) 5
5 Delta Air Lines 5 3
6 British Airways 6 8
7 Air France 10 (+3) 4
8 Northwest Airlines 7 (-1) 9
9 US Airways 8 (-1) ?
10 Ryanair new ?

United and Lufthansa once again duking it out for the top spot, the Germans on top for the moment, and American has overtaken Continental.  Air France shot up three ranks, closer to its rightful place in the list, while Scandinavian was pushed off by upstart Ryanair, which is also highly likely to make it into the IATA top 10 for 2009 once they get around to releasing it.  But for now we’re comparing against 2008 and we have 8 of the world’s top 10 are represented, with only #7 Southwest (#20 on OF, down a notch) and new IATA #10 Emirates (#26 on OF) still missing the cut.

Top 10 Airports

  Airport 100k rank World rank
1 Frankfurt Main (FRA) 1 9
2 London-Heathrow (LHR) 2 2
3 Chicago Ohare Intl (ORD) 3 3
4 Munchen (MUC) 5 (+1) ?
5 Los Angeles Intl (LAX) 6 (+1) 7
6 Charles de Gaulle (CDG) new 6
7 Houston-George Bush Intcntl (IAH) 4 (-3) 16
8 Amsterdam-Schiphol (AMS) 7 (-1) 14
9 New York-John F Kennedy Intl (JFK) 9 13
10 Atlanta-Hartsfield (ATL) 8 (-2) 1

Frankfurt keeps the top spot and the ever-busy Germans push Munchen up a notch as well, even though it’s now fallen off the Airports Council Top 30 (September 2009).  The big news this time is the appearance of Air France homebase Charles de Gaulle, showing up at #6 — precisely the same as its world rank — and pushing San Francisco off the chart.  Alas, Asia remains underrepresented, with still no sign of world #4 Beijing-Capital or #5 Tokyo-Haneda.

Bonus: Top 5 flight numbers

Just as a lark, we also decided to peek into the database and see which flight numbers were the most popular, and I have to say the results came as a bit of a surprise.   At the head of the pack were OK520 and OK527 with 270 and 205 flights respectively: OK is Czech Airlines, not a Top 10 powerhouse on any list, and they’re flights from Cologne and Dusseldorf to Prague, nearly all credited to a single user — who has chosen to stay private, alas.   The next three slots were somewhat more predictable: all Lufthansa (airline #1) from Frankfurt (airport #1,) but while I had thought that a flight to Munich had to be up there, it turns out that LH1051 (167 flights) and LH1058 (115 flights) both go to Dresden, while LH4810 (77 flights) is that old bankers’ favorite, Frankfurt-London City.   It’s a little counterintuitive, but a popular city pair means many flights to spread the load, whereas on a sufficiently quirky route like DUS-PRG there isn’t that much choice and thus lots of hits for the same flight.

What next?

We’ve been promising features that would take advantage of all this data for a while now, but haven’t quite gotten around to it yet.  Top of the list are autocompletion based on flight number (punch in a number and we’ll guess the rest) and airline/airport route maps derived from user data, and while it may be a while longer until we launch either, it’s certainly time to start experimenting.

Next update at 500,000,
-jani


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State of the Data at 100,000 flights

One hundred thousand!  (100,588 as I type this, to be quite precise.)  That’s how many flights have now been entered into OpenFlights.  Let’s see how the current statistics compare to what we had at 50,000 just a few short months back, shall we?

Top 10 Airlines

Airline 50k rank World rank
1 United Airlines 1 2
2 Lufthansa 2 6
3 Continental Airlines 4 (+1) 4
4 American Airlines 3 (-1) 1
5 Delta Air Lines 5 2
6 British Airways 7 (+1) 9
7 Northwest Airlines 8 (+1) 7
8 US Airways 6 (-2) ?
9 Scandinavian Airlines new ?
10 Air France 13 (+3) 5

Not a huge difference to last time, with United and Lufthansa still duking it out for the top spot.  Air France clambers onto the list, so 8 of the world’s top 10 are now represented, with only #8 Southwest (#19 of OF) and #10 Singapore (#13 on OF) still missing the cut.

Top 10 Airports

Airport 50k rank World rank
1 Frankfurt Main (FRA) 2 (+1) 9
2 London-Heathrow (LHR) 3 (+1) 2
3 Chicago Ohare Intl (ORD) 1 (-2) 3
4 Houston-George Bush Intcntl (IAH) 5 (+1) 16
5 Munchen (MUC) 4 (-1) 27
6 Los Angeles Intl (LAX) 8 (+2) 6
7 Amsterdam-Schiphol (AMS) new 19
8 Atlanta-Hartsfield 12 (+4) 1
9 New York-John F Kennedy Intl (JFK) 6 (-3) 13
10 San Francisco Intl (SFO) 10 19

Frankfurt and London-Heathrow push Chicago out of the top spot.  World #1 Atlanta enters the list at #5, but despite Air France’s success in the airline category, world #5 Paris-CDG slips off the list to #12 and is replaced by Amsterdam.  Still no sign of world #4 Tokyo-Haneda.

What next?

Now in development are a few features that will start to leverage on this mass of data.  Up first, the ability to check what airlines fly to a given airport and what routes they operate on.  Stay tuned!

Forward to the future,
-jani


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Stats-o-rama

One of our first feature requests was simply entitled “more stats“, but it’s taken a while to work through the wish list.  Today that request (which kept on growing larger and more complex!) was finally marked as completed, and here’s what you get.

Top 10 by mileage: Previously, the Top 10 screen ranked your routes, airports, airlines and planes simply by the number of times you’ve flown, whether it was a short commuter hop or an intercontinental long haul.   Now, you can also select “Sort by… Mileage” to rank them by distance flown, which gives a better reflection of where you’ve spent your time.

Top 10, 20 or 50: And now you’re not limited to a list of the top 10, another pulldown lets you show up to the top 50.

And it looks nicer: We’ve tweaked the appearance of the Top 10 lists, so they look better in Internet Explorer as well as Firefox.

Country count: Over at Analyze, the number of countries you’ve visited is now shown.

Average flight: In addition to the shortest and longest flight, a theoretical “Average flight” is also computed, showing how long in distance and duration your flights usually are.

If you’re interested in sitewide statistics as well as your own, take a look at the About page, which is updated nightly.  Anything else you’d like to see?

Ecstatistically yours,
-jani


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State of the Data at 50,000 flights

A few days ago, OpenFlights reached 50,000 flights, so it’s a good time to take a look at how that mass of data is shaping up.

Top 10 Airlines

  Airline World rank
1 United Airlines 2
2 Lufthansa 6
3 American Airlines 1
4 Continental Airlines 4
5 Delta Air Lines 3
6 US Airways ?
7 British Airways 9
8 Northwest Airlines 7
9 JetBlue Airways ?
10 Qantas ?

The top 4 airlines by passenger-km according to IATA all make it to the OpenFlights top 5 as well, with only world number 5 Air France (#13 on OpenFlights), #8 Southwest (#20 on OF) and #10 Singapore (#12 on OF) missing from the top 10. Lufthansa makes a strong showing, as we’ll see again in the next section…

Top 10 Airports

  Airport World rank
1 Chicago Ohare Intl (ORD) 2
2 Frankfurt Main (FRA) 9
3 London-Heathrow (LHR) 3
4 Munchen (MUC) 27
5 Houston-George Bush Intcntl (IAH) 16
6 New York-John F Kennedy Intl (JFK) 13
7 Boston-General Edward Lawrence Logan (BOS) ?
8 Los Angeles Intl (LAX) 6
9 Newark Liberty Intl (EWR) 25
10 San Francisco Intl (SFO) 19

Much more scattershot results, this time comparing against Airports Council International. The big surprises are that world #1, Atlanta-Hartsfield (ATL), only makes it to #12 on the OpenFlights list, and world #4 Tokyo-Haneda (HND), almost entirely domestic, doesn’t even make it into the top 100 on OpenFlights (we obviously need a Japanese version!).  The effects of airline popularity are also visible: not-too-popular Air France pushes world #5 Paris-CDG down to #16, while Lufthansa powers both Frankfurt and Munich to a disporportionately high rank.

What next?

At this early stage, it’s clear that regional popularity and even individual users can distort the stats quite a bit.  However, as the flights accumulate, the database should start to more and more closely resemble the real world, and this will also open up the possibility of introducing all sorts of neat features.  Enter a flight number, and we’ll already know what route it represents; pick an airline, and we’ll show you its entire network; select an airport or two, and we can tell you what flights exist (or existed) between them.  Stay tuned for our next update at 100k!

Forward to the future,
-jani