News & Press Release

Influenza transmission forecasts for Airlines and Weather data for areas affected by new coronavirus released to the public

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Since March 14, Weathernews Inc. (WNI) has been providing the public with weather data for new coronavirus endemic areas and supporting airlines with airport viral transmission forecasts.

According to some research studies, it was suggested that high temperature and humidity can significantly reduce COVID-19 transmission in a way similar to how temperature and humidity influence influenza transmission (*1).  Inspired by this, WNI has developed specialized content which focuses on influenza transmission by droplets in the air, and how environmental conditions can influence the level of viral infection.  However, weather conditions alone are not sufficient to control the situation (*2), and many factors affecting viral infection, such as social distance and appropriate implementation of public health policies, are likely to have a major impact. 

So far, COVID-19 has had a serious impact on the aviation industry and this situation will likely continue. Therefore, our aviation weather team is offering specialized weekly forecast support to major Asian and European airlines since March 14th. The forecasts let airlines predict the viral activity level up to one week ahead based on absolute humidity. The data is displayed on a 5-tier color scale, so that the risk of an epidemic, caused by drying, can be assessed very quickly. Airlines can use this information to understand airport conditions and determine when to resume flights to trendy areas. As of today, the service is applied only in locations in Japan, Korea, and China, but will soon be available in the European region and eventually North America.   

Successfully supporting Thai Airways in Asia

As with many airlines around the world, our valued customer Thai Airways is using a wide range of data to determine the length and extent of COVID-19 impact on the aviation industry.

Illustration of influenza risk forecasts
Example of the forecast output made for Thai Airways

WNI is employing its proprietary forecasting technology to help monitor the current risk of viral infection at select airports influenced by the predicted quality of air at a location. Providing the daily colored-coded viral infection indices for Chengdu, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Incheon, and Narita, as well as daily temperature trends, assists Thai Airways with its risk assessment activities and to support decisions on planning for optimal timing of resumption of flights to affected areas.


Helping the general public in Japan

Besides supporting airlines, we are continuously providing data to the public in Japan on temperature and humidity influencing the level of viral infection in cities and regions, especially where coronavirus outbreaks are occurring. We hope that browsing and downloading this weather data will be useful for research and consideration of viruses that have not yet been elucidated.

This worldwide disaster caused by COVID-19 is a strong reminder of our founding principles and commitment as a company to save the lives of mariners: to service people and businesses in a time of crisis. 

We urge all airlines to reach out and contact us for further information on how we can help.


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*1:March 10th, 2020  Beihang University: High Temperature and High Humidity Reduce the Transmission of COVID-19

*2:March 19th, 2020  Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT): Will Coronavirus Pandemic Diminish by Summer?