Where can I get historical flight data?

In this article, we will make an overview of how to get historical flight data easily with our Historical Schedules API. Whether you have previous experience with APIs or not, our API is very easy to access and use to retrieve data. The API allows tracking down the final status and departure and arrival times, along with all airport codes, airline and flight details. You may combine this data with the other sets of data from our remaining APIs for a very extensive database of your own.

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The Complete Historical Flight Data API

There are many use cases for historical flight data. Academic research projects, creating reports and running analysis for aviation-related businesses, passenger satisfaction and flight claim companies are just a few examples. Whether you are a travel company or an aviation geek, our APIs apply to everyone no matter the motivation!

The answer to the question “where can I get historical flight data” is right here and without further ado, let’s take a look at the historical flight data API itself.

When no filter is used, the complete schedule data of the given date or date range of an airport will be displayed.

The details include:

  • Airline: Full name, IATA and ICAO codes of the airline.
  • Departure and arrival: IATA codes and ICAO codes of the departure and arrival airport.
  • Date: The date of departure and arrival for each flight.
  • Departure and arrival times: Scheduled, estimated and actual arrival and departure times, as well as runway times, all in local time.
  • Status: The latest status information of the flight. May be active (for departure schedules), landed (for arrival schedules), cancelled or unknown.
  • Delay: Total delay amount in minutes for delayed flights

The complete data for a complete picture of the airport timetable at a designated date or a date range. The endpoints for this are as follows. Please keep in mind that the date range can be 28 days maximum and the API can show the data of at least 3 days earlier.

Departure schedule of a certain airport on a certain date.

Arrival schedule of a certain airport on a certain date.

Schedule of a certain airport of a certain date range (also available for arrival).

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Status Data via the Historical Flight Status API

One of the most widely used piece of information from the API is the “status”. The historical status information tells us if a flight was cancelled or delayed at a certain date and the length of delay. This piece of information is particularly useful to determine if a flight is eligible for flight compensation against an airline. Especially useful for compensation claim companies practicing European EC261/2004 regulation claims.

Another common use case is to run analysis to see the average delay and cancellation behavior of a flight or an airline, even the airport itself. Thanks to the historical date range feature, this information can be applied to certain important periods of time such as the COVID-19 breakout, making the Historical Flight Status API particularly useful for research. Create a breakdown of flight delays and cancellations during the COVID-19 era with simple API calls!

The endpoint to filter the complete data based on the status is as follows:

Schedule of a certain airport on a certain date (or range) but only flights with a certain status. 
GET http://aviation-edge.com/v2/public/flightsHistory?key=[API_KEY]&code=JFK&type=arrival&date_from=YYYY-MM-DD&date_to=YYYY-MM-DD&status=cancelled

Now let’s view one delay response and one cancellation response via the Historical Flight Status API—>

					A delayed flight:

{"type": "departure",
"status": "active",
{"iataCode": "jfk",
"icaoCode": "kjfk",
"terminal": "1",
"gate": "7",
"delay": 21,
"scheduledTime": "2020-09-25t21:30:00.000",
"estimatedTime": "2020-09-25t21:50:00.000",
"actualTime": "2020-09-25t21:51:00.000",
"estimatedRunway": "2020-09-25t21:51:00.000",
"actualRunway": "2020-09-25t21:51:00.000"},
{"iataCode": "cdg",
"icaoCode": "lfpg",
"terminal": "2e",
"baggage": "33",
"estimatedTime": "2020-09-26t10:12:00.000"},
{"name": "tarom",
"iataCode": "ro",
"icaoCode": "rot"},
{"number": "9530",
"iataNumber": "ro9530",
"icaoNumber": "rot9530"}}}
					A canceled flight:

{"type": "departure",
"status": "cancelled",
{"iataCode": "jfk",
"icaoCode": "kjfk",
"terminal": "4",
"scheduledTime": "2020-09-26t13:06:00.000"},
{"iataCode": "sju",
"icaoCode": "tjsj",
"terminal": "b",
"scheduledTime": "2020-09-26t16:49:00.000"},
{"name": "westjet",
"iataCode": "ws",
"icaoCode": "wja"},
{"number": "6695",
"iataNumber": "ws6695",
"icaoNumber": "wja6695"}}}

Notice how the status for a delayed flight is “landed”? This is because the Historical Schedules API shows the latest status information of a flight. So, the status is shown as “landed” even though the flight was delayed. Keep in mind that “Delayed” is not an available type of status since it cannot be the final status of a flight. Instead, you will find the length of delay in the data. The “delay: “ value is the total delay minutes. Seeing which flights were delayed is very easy by using a simple search feature and type “delay”. Delayed flights will be highlighted this way.

The statuses, of course, are not limited to the above-mentioned ones. The status can be “active” (for departure schedule only because of the reason explained above), “landed” (for arrival schedules only), “cancelled”, or “unknown” if no status data was received from the flight at the time.

What if you are to focus on a specific flight? You can do so without having to highlight it among a big amount of data. Do this by tracking it individually via past flight database. In order to track historical flight data of individual flights, simply use the following endpoint:

GET http://aviation-edge.com/v2/public/flightsHistory?key=[API_KEY]&code=JFK&type=departure&date_from=YYYY-MM-DD&date_to=YYYY-MM-DD&flight_number=[1234]

Notice when tracking via flight number, the airline code is not included. To make sure you are tracking the correct airline’s flight, you may add the “airline_iata=” parameter at the end.

GET http://aviation-edge.com/v2/public/flightsHistory?key=[API_KEY]&code=JFK&type=arrival&date_from=YYYY-MM-DD&&airline_iata=TK

Use our GET tool here to quickly practice the API.

Select from the example endpoints and practice filters. If you don’t have an API key yet, get it here in seconds!

How to Get Past Flight Database - Conclusion and Useful Links

This sums up our article on how to use the past flight database. For more details, you may view our documentation as well. We hope this answer the question “where can I get historical flight data?” for you. For any other questions you may have, don’t hesitate to contact us and we will get back to you asap. We are always happy to help and discuss how our data can contribute to your project.

View our other APIs below. We have several great APIs including real-time Flight Tracker API, real-time Schedules API, Routes API (passive), a very extensive, passive aviation database, real-time Satellite Tracker API and much more. All available via a single API key!

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