RadarBox: SFO Airport Movements Increase by 10%

Photo Credit: James Field/AviationSource

LONDON – San Francisco Airport (SFO) has increased its airport movements by 10%, based on data provided by RadarBox.com.

The airport has been steadily climbing over the last few weeks, but more work will be needed to achieve pre-pandemic averages.

Without further ado, let’s get into the numbers…

The Numbers…

For this week, the airport has handled 918 movements, based on the seven-day rolling average provided by the flight-tracking company.

This represents an increase of 10.34% compared to the same period last year, where 832 movements were handled.

For pre-pandemic levels to be achieved, the airport is currently trailing 198 movements, meaning that airlines will have to increase frequencies or introduce new services into the airport to make that happen.

Below is the last four weeks’ worth of data from the airport:

Date2019 Numbers2021 Numbers2022 NumbersPercentage Difference (2022 vs. 2021)
October 29-November 51176 movements848 movements919 movements+8.37%
November 5-121177 movements838 movements921 movements+9.90%
November 12-191205 movements844 movements945 movements+11.97%
November 19-261096 movements817 movements900 movements+10.16%

What we can see from those numbers is that the double-digit growth has only happened in the last two to three weeks, but it is steady growth that is going to help the airport move forward.

Australia Seems To Be a Key Market…

Over the Summer, a pattern was beginning to form regarding new flights into San Francisco.

Back in June, the Premier of Queensland Australia announced that United Airlines would fly from San Francisco to Brisbane Airport thrice weekly.

This service started back in October, with the routes being part of the north-eastern Australian state government’s AU$200 million Attracting Aviation Investment Fund.

The three-weekly flight scheduling will deliver an extra 40,000 international seat capacity into the state capital of Brisbane each year.

Premier Palaszczuk stated that the deal represented an AU$73 million injection into the economy and would support 385 local jobs, saying:

“We’re aggressively pursuing new direct flights to our key tourism destinations to drive visitation and support local jobs. That’s what our Attracting Aviation Investment Fund is designed to do.”

On top of this, Qantas is looking to come back to the airport in March 2023, which represents a delayed re-entry to service due to COVID.

Back when the Covid pandemic started in early 2020, Qantas, amongst many other world airlines, suspended its international services as many countries’ governments imposed restrictions to reduce the transmission rate of the virus, and as such, many countries opted to limit international air travel to ‘essential only’ travel, meaning those could only travel abroad if it were urgently necessary.

In the midst of this, Qantas pulled their direct services that served San Francisco from Sydney.

The group announced earlier this year that this direct service was due to restart in October 2022.

However, it has now been pushed back three months until now, March 27, 2023, which will mark nearly enough three years of the absence of this service.

It is worth noting that the new date in March 2023 is still again subject to change.


It remains clear that SFO is on an upwards trajectory. The work now begins in how they can acquire more airline frequencies into the airport to achieve pre-pandemic numbers.

All eyes will be on the airport to achieve this, but given the high number of international and domestic links they can serve, this shouldn’t be that much of a challenge.

But for now, especially as growth continues in the airport, SFO will be one to look out for on the West Coast.

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