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 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.
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.
Where Airliners Go to Die ... and Be Recycled
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