Emptier skies: New data shows that nearly 7,000 aircraft have been stored

Mar 25, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

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.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MARCH 21: A grounded fleet of British Airway planes sit on the runway at Glasgow Airport on March 21, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread to at least 186 countries, claiming nearly 12,000 lives and infecting more than 286,000 people. There have now been 3,983 diagnosed cases in the UK and 177 deaths. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

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 717s 45
Boeing 727s 6
Boeing 737 MAXs 383
Boeing 737s (-200, -300, -400, -500, -600, -700, -800 and -900) 1,087
Boeing 747s 108
Boeing 757s 150
Boeing 767s 154
Boeing 777s 376
Boeing 787s 233

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
Airbus A220s 33
Airbus A300s 11
Airbus A310s 8
Airbus A318s 23
Airbus A319s 338
Airbus A320s 948
Airbus A320neos 112
Airbus A321s 325
Airbus A321neos 58
Airbus A330s 467
Airbus A330neos 18
Airbus A340s 117
Airbus A350s 66
Airbus A380s 84

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.

(Image courtesy of FlightRadar24)
(Image courtesy of FlightRadar24)

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.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.