With two-thirds of the world’s passenger airplanes currently on the ground, most airlines have managed to store their aircraft on closed runways and taxiways; others have chosen to send their aircraft to some unusual storage sites.
In this article, we will show you four different sites that are currently being used by different airlines.
Alice Springs, Australia
The dry climate of Alice Springs is excellent for long-term storage; with minimal corrosion due to the heat and low humidity.
SilkAir’s fleet of six Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft have been at Alice Springs Airport for more than six months. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, more aircraft have been arriving here; including more than 20 from 4 different airlines, Singapore, SilkAir, NokScoot and Scoot.
Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage, located at Alice Springs Airport, has been proposing the site for aircraft storage since the early 2000s.
“It’s quite a process to put the aircraft into storage, [but] once the storage-induction check is complete, we’ll then start carrying out the periodic checks every week.”the APAS director Tom Vincent told ABC
- A380: 9V-SKT, 9V-SKW, 9V-SKY and 9V-SKZ
- B777-200ER: 9V-SVB, 9V-SVC and 9V-SVE
- B777-200ER: HS-XBC and HS-XBB
- A320: 9V-TAV, 9V-TAU, 9V-TAN and 9V-TAQ
- B737Max: 9V-MBA, 9V-MBB, 9V-MBC, 9V-MBD, 9V-MBE and 9V-MBF
Teruel Airport, located in Spain, is a very well know storage and recycling facility; but TARMAC Aerosave also provides maintenance and servicing operations.
According to Heraldo, TARMAC have had to use an additional land field belonging to the airport, as there is no further space on the paved parking; which is currently occupied with 90 airplanes. TARMAC will reach 115 aircraft in the next few weeks and between 20-25 will go to the land field.
The director of Tarmac-Aragón, Pedro Sáez, explained that “provisional” parking lots are enabled in the dirt field, with the placement of metal plates on the ground and “all the necessary safety and environmental measures”.
With the lower demand caused by COVID-19, a lot of airlines have sent their aircraft to Teruel for long term storage.
- Lufthansa have sent 4 A380s (D-AIMF, D-AIMG, D-AIMJ and D-AIMK) and six A340-600s. Lufthansa have issued a statement saying that they will retire six A380, seven Airbus A340-600 and five Boeing 747-400 aircraft, in order to reduce their operating costs
- Air France has sent two A380s (F-HPJF and F-HPJG).
- Five Boeing 747-400s, belonging to British Airways, flew to Teruel in April. It is still unclear whether this was for dismantling or storage
- Ukraine Airlines has sent two B777-200s (UR-GOB and UR-GOC)
Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées Airport is located in France and like Teruel offers storage, dismantling and maintenance support to airlines.
The airport is preparing for the arrival of more aircraft, having started the work of re-paving runways and taxi ways to access the aircraft parking.
On 28th April Tarbes received the first A380 from Air France. As of today the airline has sent two to this airport and another two to Teruel.
Azores Airlines/SATA has sent two aircraft to Tarbes, one A320 (CS-TKK) and one A321neo LR (CS-TSH).
On the other hand, Hifly’s A380 left Tarbes Airport on 30th April; this was after a B Check maintenance procedure, that had a duration of one month.
Tarbes is also known for being the biggest aircraft graveyard in Europe, last year two ex A380s from Singapore Airlines started being dismantled here.
On May 3rd, four Airbus A320s and two A330s, from Swiss, left Zurich head to Amman Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan.
A320: HB-IJR, HB-IJM, HB-IJL and HB-IJN
A330-300: HB-JHM and HB-JHA
The warm and dry climate of this airport, in Jordan, is essential for the successful storage of aircraft for long periods. Swiss also has a five-year contract with the Jordanian maintenance company, Joramco.
“It is particularly recommended in situations where the aircraft will not be needed for operational use for more than three months”Swiss spokeswoman said to Aerotelegraph
Feature Image: Steve Strike