Parking Poses New Problem as Airlines Ground a Majority of Its Fleets Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

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Image for representation. REUTERS/Gary He

Image for illustration. REUTERS/Gary He

The variety of planes in storage has doubled to greater than 5,000 for the reason that begin of the 12 months, based on Cirium knowledge.

  • Reuters
  • Last Updated: March 24, 2020, 6:59 PM IST
  • Edited by: Anirudh SK

As airways idle 1000’s of plane for which there are not any passengers, they’re hitting an unprecedented downside: discovering a spot to park them. Taxiways, upkeep hangars and even runways at main airports are being remodeled into big parking heaps for greater than 2,500 airliners, the most important of which takes up about as a lot room as an eight-story constructing with a footprint 3/four the dimensions of an American soccer subject.

The variety of planes in storage has doubled to greater than 5,000 for the reason that begin of the 12 months, based on Cirium knowledge, with extra anticipated to be parked within the coming weeks as carriers like Australia’s Qantas Airways Ltd (QAN.AX) and Singapore Airlines Ltd (SIAL.SI) proceed with additional introduced cuts to flight schedules.

In Frankfurt, Germany’s largest airport is a ghost city of silent airliners. Its northwest touchdown runway, together with taxiways and bridges, has been transformed to an plane car parking zone for Lufthansa (LHAG.DE), Condor and different airways. Lufthansa model Swiss has rented parking spots at a army airport near Zurich.

Similar crowds of planes are parked at other major airports, including Hong Kong, Seoul, Berlin and Vienna as well as traditional desert parking lots in Victorville, California, and Marana, Arizona, according to data from flight-tracking website FlightRadar24.

In Manila, some Philippines Airlines (PAL.PS) jets are parked in the Lufthansa Technik Philippines hangar, an airline official said.

Even some smaller airports have been converted to parking lots. Avalon Airport west of Melbourne expects to take 50 planes from Qantas and its low-cost offshoot, Jetstar, according to the airport’s chief government, Justin Giddings.

“It is sad for everyone, the whole industry,” he instructed Reuters of the groundings, which have led Qantas to place 20,000 employees members on depart.

Qantas is sending 30 engineers to Avalon assist keep the planes to allow them to re-enter service in three to seven days when demand returns, based on a supply with data of the matter. The provider can be parking about 100 different plane at main airports round Australia and its 5 getting old 747s at a desert storage facility in Alice Springs, the supply stated.

Qantas declined to remark.

Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage (APAS) in Alice Springs can be house to SilkAir and Fiji Airways 737 MAX jets as a part of a year-long world grounding that has positioned additional strain on the flexibility to seek out spots to place different jets.

“Things are extremely busy,” APAS managing director Tom Vincent stated. “There are further aircraft deliveries this week and into the coming weeks.”

Some airports, equivalent to Melbourne and Brisbane, stated they’re offering parking at no cost. Brisbane Airport stated that some worldwide airways had expressed curiosity in utilizing its amenities, which might home as much as 101 planes, however that no offers had but been reached. Qantas and Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd (VAH.AX) will use a few of the Brisbane spots.

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (0293.HK), one of many first and hardest hit by the coronavirus, has been utilizing distant bays, taxiways and different operational areas at Hong Kong International Airport.

In the United States, United Airlines Holdings Inc (UAL.O) and American Airlines Group Inc (AAL.O) stated they’re parking planes at upkeep amenities for now, whereas Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N) stated it was nonetheless wanting into the difficulty.

FlightRadar24 knowledge confirmed Delta had moved a dozen planes to Marana in mid-March and much more to Victorville over the past week.

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