Grounded Airliners in Storage During COVID-19 Outbreak

Fluctuations in the world economy can force airlines to temporarily store their jetliners until their return to active service. And global events such as the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 can ground airline fleets.

All commercial airliners have limited lifespans due to airframe wear and/or obsolescence. Ultimately, they must be retired from service, stored in "airplane boneyards" or graveyards, and finally dismantled and scrapped. Others are kept for spare parts for flying aircraft.

Airliners in storage at Pinal Airpark in Arizona
Airliners in storage at the Pinal Airpark in Arizona

Some jetliners are temporarily taken off flying status, and must be stored in a environment that is conducive for preservation until a return to service.

To protect airliners during long-term storage from wind and sun damage, engines and windows are tightly covered with white, reflective materials. A sealed airliner can thus be stored safely, for years, until the time comes to return it to active duty, or salvage.

Airliner boneyards & storage facilities in the western USA serve several functions: temporary storage, maintenance, parts reclamation, and scrapping.

Similar facilities exist around the world, in countries like the U.K., Spain, France, Australia, Scotland and other locales.

Airliner Storage During the COVID-19 Outbreak in 2020

As anyone that flies, has ties to the aviation industry, or watches TV knows, the worldwide outbreak of the Corona Virus in the spring of 2020 has had a major negative impact on airlines and their fleets, worldwide.

Thousands of airliners have been placed in storage around the world.

Major airlines such as American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, British Airways, United Airlines, Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic, Cathay Pacific, Qantas and others have had to eliminate flights due to lack of demand, and store hundreds of jetliners until their return to service. Permanent retirements of some older aircraft such as Boeing 757s and 767s, and Airbus A340-600s, have also been accelerated.

Airliners in temporary storage

Many are being stored at airports such as Pittsburgh, Tulsa, Atlanta, SkyHarbor in Phoenix, Mobile, San Antonio and Birmingham in the United States.

In Europe, airliners are being parked at airports in Frankfurt, Copenhagen, Paris Vienna, and London, among others.

Other airports around the world at which aircraft are parked include Seoul, Hong Kong and Delhi.

Others are being sent to full-scale storage facilities such as the Pinal Airpark in Arizona, the Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville and the Roswell International Air Center in New Mexico. Other long-term parking facilities in Europe and those such as Alice Springs in Australia are also providing storage services to the airlines.

Recent News Articles Related to Airplane Storage

Arizona’s Pinal Airpark Houses Airline Fleets from Around the World
Airline Geeks - 05/23/2020
Parking a $375 million airplane takes more than just locking the door
Cnet - 05/18/2020
Over 720 aircraft currently in storage at UK airports
Business Traveller - 05/07/2020
Alice Springs Turned Into Plane Parking Lot As World's Airlines Scramble For Storage Space
10Daily - 05/05/2020
Here’s What You Do With Two-Thirds of the World’s Jets When They Can’t Fly
Bloomberg - 04/16/2020
Airlines parking planes at local Tucson area airports
KOLD News 13 - 04/08/2020
City positions Air Center for pandemic plane storage
Los Alamos Monitor - 04/04/2020
What It Takes for an Airline to Ground Its Fleet Amid Coronavirus
Conde Nast Traveler - 03/31/2020
Tough decisions loom for fleets grounded due to coronavirus crisis
Flight Global - 03/29/2020
Thousands of grounded planes, nearly empty fights. How the coronavirus is affecting US airlines
KSAT San Antonio, TX - 03/28/2020
Planes parked in Phoenix as airlines cancel hundreds of flights at Sky Harbor Airport
AZ Central - 03/26/2020
Delta and Soutwest start parking planes at SCLA in Victorville amid coronavirus fears
Victorville Valley News - 03/23/2020
In Pictures - Airports Begin to Resemble Aircraft Graveyards
Forbes - 03/22/2020
Airlines grounded by coronavirus spur boom for storage
Financial Times - 03/22/2020
Airlines begin parking jetliners north of Tucson as virus restricts destinations, demand - 03/20/2020
American Airlines to store 787 planes in Tulsa during coronavirus outbreak
KTUL Tulsa ABC8 - 03/16/2020
Commercial jets landing at Pinal Airpark as airlines cut flights due to corona virus
AZfamily - 03/16/2020
Delta begins storing its wide-body fleet
FlightRadar24 - 03/15/2020
CAVU Aerospace Increases Capacity at Roswell. Victorville and Stuttgart for Short Term & Long-Term Storage of Aircraft Amidst Crisis
CAVU Aerospace - 03/13/2020

Other Sources of Aircraft Storage & Reclamation News

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base AMARG
Pinal Airpark
Mojave Air and Space Port
Kingman Airport Authority
Roswell International Air Center
Southern California Logistics Airport
Phoenix Goodyear Airport

Storage & Parts Reclamation Companies

Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association
Universal Asset Management
Charlotte Aircraft Corporation
Air Salvage International
Aircraft Demolition
Pacific Aerospace Resources & Technologies
Ascent Aviation Services
Infinity Air Group
JetYard LLC
Kingman Airline Services
ComAv Technical Services
Qwest Air Parts, Inc
CAVU Aerospace
Aviation Repair Technologies (ART)
Aircraft Restoration & Marketing (ARM)



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An online resource about facilities engaged in the storage, reclamation & disassembly of aircraft ... we do not own or operate a boneyard, or have an affiliation with any boneyard, the Department of Defense, or any aviation museum or tour group