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Watch: How airplanes are put into storage because of the coronavirus

March 27, 2020
2 min read
Watch: How airplanes are put into storage because of the coronavirus
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Thousands of commercial airplanes worldwide are being parked because of the coronavirus pandemic. Left without passengers, either because of travel restrictions or because people just aren't flying, airlines are choosing to put many of their planes in storage at airports all over.

But you can't just decide to park an airplane and then start it back up in weeks or months when the crisis is over. First, an airline has to find available space; the American Southwest has a lot if it, plus a dry climate that helps metals avoid corrosion, so that's where many airplanes are going. Second, it has to prepare the planes for storage, which requires a lot of work: Planes aren't cars, and they can't just pop back to life after months in the garage.

And because taking planes out of long-term storage is expensive, many of the jets airlines are parking because of COVID-19 will never take to the skies again. Stripped of valuable parts like engines, seats or instruments, they will end up scrapped for metal to recycle. That is for example the fate that will most likely befall the McDonnell Douglas MD-80s that Delta Air Lines is sending to storage. One consequence is that when the crisis is over, U.S. airlines will fly younger and more fuel-efficient fleets, which also will emit fewer greenhouse gases.

In this video, TPG Audience & Community Producer Wallace Cotton, whose knowledge of civil aviation is renowned even among a staff full of serious aviation geeks, explains how airplane storage works and how airlines are using it to cope with the effects of the pandemic.

Featured image by Bloomberg via Getty Images

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Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees