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Chart showing commercial flights tracked by Flightradar24 from January 2019 to January 2021
Commercial flights fell to mid-2020 levels in January

Expanded travel restrictions in response to the spread of new, more transmissible strains of COVID-19 forced commercial traffic into decline in January. From December, traffic declined 9.1%.
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Lufthansa A350 taxiing at Mount Pleasant airport on the Falkland Islands
Lufthansa’s longest ever flight leads us to learn about the airports on the Falkland Islands 

Lufthansa completed its longest ever passenger flight this week, carrying scientists bound for Antarctica from Hamburg to Mount Pleasant. We decided to learn more about aviation and the airports on the Falkland Islands.
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Air Greenland’s A330-200 OY-GRN
How have Air Greenland operations fared in the pandemic?

Air Greenland’s unique fleet and challenging operating environment are fascinating in the best of times, but how has the small, but vital airline managed to navigate the pandemic?
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FLIGHTS TO FOLLOW
SOFIA Telescope, a modified 747SP
SOFIA spending February and March in the skies above Europe 

The heavily modified 747SP SOFIA Telescope—a joint project between NASA and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR)—will mount its first extended science mission over Europe this month. Just out of heavy maintenance and with an upgraded telescope, SOFIA will spend February and March based in Germany trying to unlock the secrets of the universe. Search N747NA or NASA747 to follow SOFIA.
Follow SOFIA
Antarctic airfields with Flightradar24 receivers: Neumayer III, SANAE IV, Troll, Novo, Princess Elisabeth, Davis Plateau
Antarctica summer season winding down 

The Antarctic summer season is coming to a close, which means increased flight traffic. We now have six receivers across the continent to better track the wide variety of traffic there, from modified DC-3s to IL-76s and everything in between.
Track flights in Antarctica
AVIATION PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
KLM 777 departing Amsterdam
A KLM 777 lifting off from Amsterdam.
A Privilege Style 777 in a snowy Warsaw.
A Privilege Style 777 in a snowy Warsaw.
An Air France A380 landing in Los Angeles
An Air France A380 on final approach in Los Angeles.
AVIATION EXPLAINER
Flight path of LX18, which diverted back to Zurich after hours of circling to burn fuel in various places over central Europe
Why don’t they just land? Aircraft diversions explained 

‘Why don’t they just land?’, ‘They flew past two perfectly good airports,’ ‘What’s with all the circling?’

When a flight has to divert, there are many factors that decide where the aircraft should (and can) go. Here’s a look at some of those considerations.
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UNDER THE RADAR - Bite size aviation news
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Sell GameStop stock to save an airline?
 
Ian’s not-so-bright idea for the Norwegian pension fund to sell its holdings in GameStop to rescue Norwegian Air.
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