Over the past 18 months, the aviation industry has experienced the greatest impact on operations in a generation, if not ever, as we have dealt with the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. The absolute priority of Osprey Flight Solutions since the emergence of COVID-19 has been to provide the aviation industry with accurate, timely and actionable information regarding the pandemic. Our team has developed best-in-class data visualisation tools and innovative information-sharing solutions directly related to COVID-19 within the Osprey:Open platform, which we continue to provide free of charge.

Throughout the pandemic, Osprey has continued to provide the industry with the highest level of support to understand and identify security risks and maximise the safety of all flight operations. Our team of analysts have crafted regional updates on COVID-19 to keep our client base dynamically informed. In addition, the Osprey analysis team spearheaded topical COVID-19 webinars, thought papers and articles to foster collaboration and information sharing throughout the everchanging global aviation operating environment during the pandemic.

COVID-19 Timeline

  • 22 January 2020: As health screening is introduced at various airports worldwide, Osprey issues the first alert regarding the aviation industry’s response to the spread of a “novel coronavirus”.
  • 12 February 2020: Osprey issues an alert highlighting suspension of flight operations to/from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan due to the spread of the disease now officially named “COVID-19”.
  • 26 February 2020: Osprey alert highlights suspension of flights at South Korea’s Daegu International Airport following reports of the first clusters of cases outside China.
  •  27 February 2020: Osprey alert highlights suspension of flights between Iran and bordering countries due to an outbreak in the country and concern over Iran’s response.
  • 12 March 2020: As the virus spreads and government responses increase in pace and frequency, Osprey issues the first of 340 (and counting) weekly updates for all global regions. These have since summarised significant developments in epidemiological trends, vaccine distribution and domestic restrictions impacting aviation operations, as well as travel and flight bans, face mask mandates and curfews.
  • 17 March 2020: As the virus proliferates, Osprey creates a Bio Safety data category, allowing Osprey analysts and Osprey:Explore users to monitor COVID-19 data separately from other aviation safety and security-related data.
Osprey:Explore map showing bio safety pings worldwide
Osprey:Explore map showing bio safety pings worldwide
  • 25 March 2020: Osprey adds COVID-19 case numbers and NOTAM data for countries and airports to its Osprey:Open platform.
  • 16 April 2020: Osprey introduces data and up-to-date information on active travel restrictions impacting aviation to its Osprey:Open platform.
Osprey:Open platform displaying COVID-19 case data for Russia
Osprey:Open platform displaying COVID-19 case data for Russia
Osprey:Explore graph showing number of bio-safety pings for all countries for the last two years
Osprey:Explore graph showing number of bio-safety pings for all countries for the last two years
  • 22 February 2021: As travel ‘bubbles’ are implemented and passengers are required to provide proof of immunity, reports of PCR test certificate fraud emerge in various locations globally. Osprey responds by issuing its first regular COVID-19 documentation fraud update as part of its series of special COVID-19 alerts, which highlight the emergence of COVID-19-related crime impacting the aviation industry. This includes the production and supply of forged polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, vaccine passport fraud and airport official bribery elicitation for ‘quarantine-at-home documents’. Other special COVID-19 alert topics include cyber espionage campaigns targeting COVID-19 vaccine supply chains and the seizure of unlicensed COVID-19 medical supplies, such as ivermectin, as well as counterfeit COVID-19 medication and vaccines from air cargo shipments.
  • 2 March 2021: In response to the rapidly shifting nature of the pandemic and the new threats to aviation that have emerged as a result, Osprey introduces part three of its COVID-19 webinar series, ‘How has the pandemic impacted airport and passenger security?
  • 23 March 2021: In response to various governments’ announcements of plans to develop and implement COVID-19 immunity-based travel documents and/or digital verification systems, Osprey publishes an article entitled ‘Global Situation Report: COVID-19 ‘vaccine passports’ and immunity-based travel agreements’, the first of several articles exploring key aspects of the aviation industry’s response to the pandemic.
  • 30 March 2021: While the impacts of the pandemic on commercial passenger aviation receive substantial attention, little information is available surrounding the impacts on cargo. Osprey addresses this in part four of its COVID-19 webinar series, ‘How has the pandemic impacted air cargo operations?
  • 12 April 2021: In response to new variants of concern (VOCs)s having greater impact on travel restrictions, Osprey introduces its COVID-19 Variant Tracker to the Osprey:Open platform, which displays a ‘heat map’ layer for each variant identified by the World Health Organization. Vaccine data for each country is also added.
Osprey:Open platform displaying vaccination data for Turkey
Osprey:Open platform displaying vaccination data for Turkey


Osprey has provided unrivalled support to the aviation industry throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by offering access to a broad range of detailed, reliable and consistent data in a variety of formats. Crucially, Osprey’s response to the pandemic has highlighted the agility of its system and its ability to adapt to address emerging issues.

About the author

Thomas Finney Analysis & Integration Specialist

As Osprey’s Analysis & Integration Specialist, Tom provides a link between the analysis and tech development teams, helping to ensure that the latest data collection, processing and analysis techniques are integrated into every stage of our risk management process. As an analyst, he also covers a variety of issues and has most recently been focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, becoming a leading expert on its impact on the aviation industry.

With an academic background in social and political science, Tom has carried out geo-political intelligence gathering in many contexts and has helped develop several risk monitoring platforms.

As a security analyst he has worked closely with a range of clients from across the transportation industry to provide actionable and reliable intelligence, initially with a geographical focus on Europe and Asia, before specialising further as an aviation analyst.

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