Imagine that you are cruising on 33 000 ft and look out of the airplane window. I like to think it is just me and my fellow passengers in the air but nothing can be more wrong! This is extra significant when flying in and out of airports with heavy traffic like Atlanta, O´Hare, Heathrow or Paris CDG where you actually can count the aircrafts flying in and out. You can also see this on sites like flightradar24.com.
A quick search does not give a source with a firm answer on how many flights are up in the air every day, but somewhere around 80 000 – 90 000 flights over the US where only 1/3 are commercial flights. I found indications of 30 000 flights per day over Europe, but that sounds like a low number to me. I would love to hear from someone who knows, because it is a in interesting topic. You find me on Facebook or on Twitter.
I really recommend you to have a look at the visualizations below. I think you will be amazed when you see how many airplanes are in the air.
Air traffic over the US visualized:
A day of air traffic over Europe visualized:
Have a great weekend where ever you are. Fly safely!