Emptier skies: New data shows that nearly 7,000 aircraft have been stored
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It’s no shock that the airline industry has especially struggled to cope with the decrease in demand amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Airlines around the world have been forced to cut capacity, with some even suspending their entire operations. And it’s the pace at which airlines are taking to grounding operations that has truly been astounding.
As with most things with the coronavirus, developments have been coming fast. News and advisories seem to change every day — and that appears to be holding true even with airlines.
According to new information from data and analytics firm Cirium, nearly 7,000 aircraft from global airlines have already been stored to ride out the rest of the coronavirus outbreak. As countries continue to close their borders and travellers opt to stay home, significant portions of fleets have already been grounded.
In the past 24 hours, the number of grounded aircraft grew by 800, according to Cirium, which now reports 6,639 aircraft in storage globally.
For Boeing aircraft, Cirium says that 2,542 aircraft are grounded, including the previously grounded 737 MAX aircraft — 1,671 narrow-body and 871 wide-body aircraft. Altogether, each variation of aircraft breaks down as follows:
|Aircraft||Number in storage globally|
|Boeing 737 MAXs||383|
|Boeing 737s (-200, -300, -400, -500, -600, -700, -800 and -900)||1,087|
Meanwhile, there are 2,608 Airbus aircraft grounded globally — 1,837 narrow-bodies and 771 wide-bodies. The number of aircraft in storage breaks down as follows:
|Aircraft||Number in storage globally|
The aircraft are stored all over the world at around 600 locations. For British Airways, that means predominantly at its base at London Heathrow for its wide-bodies, as well as Manchester and Cardiff. It’s narrow-bodies — specifcally A321s — are, for the most part, in Glasgow. Meanwhile, for Virgin Atlantic, most of its aircraft are in Bournemouth, Glasgow Preswick, Glasgow or London Heathrow.
On Monday, Ryanair, Europe’s largest budget airline announced that it was completely ending commercial operations until at least June. While it’s still flying some aircraft for repatriation and humanitarian efforts, as of Wednesday, all commercial flights have been suspended. At points on Wednesday, we got a look at Europe’s skies with just two Ryanair aircraft airborne.
It’s likely that the astounding pace at which airlines are parking their aircraft will continue for the weeks and potentially months to come. During parts of April, Virgin Atlantic only expects to operate six aircraft at a time.
Featured photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.
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