I've flown long-distance internationally a few times. Some of those flights have been practically full, while others I've had three seats to myself to lay down and sleep throughout the journey. I've found this can be the difference between a productive day on arrival versus simply needing to sleep.
I'm interested to know whether there are any rules of thumb or tricks for picking international flights that are likely to have fewer passengers? Typically I might have time/date flexibility in choosing a flight on the order of days if day of week/time of day has a meaningful impact. I wouldn't normally have flexibility on the order of months i.e. I can't choose what time of year to travel, but if this makes a meaningful difference, I'd also be interested to know.
To be clear I'd also be interested in factors other than time - e.g. certain routes or airlines that can with some degree of confidence be predicted to have fewer passengers on a given flight. I guess what would be really great is if there is some kind of public record of airline occupancy for individual flights, which could be used to predict future flight occupancy.