Source: Dubai – Sherif Al Yamani
If you are in one of the crowded cities in the world, and you suffer from finding parking space for your cars, do not grumble, because the planes now face the same fate, as they may not soon find a place to house them on the ground, with most of the waiting places in the airports running out.
Currently, 98% of the world’s air routes are subject to strict travel restrictions, including closure, partial travel bans, or quarantine measures, according to IATA data.
In Europe, seat capacity is expected to decrease by about 90% in the second quarter of 2020. In the Middle East, capacity is expected to decrease by about 80%, while in the United States and Asia it will decrease by 50%, according to the latest IATA data.
There are about 10.5 thousand aircraft, representing 40% of the total global fleet of aircraft, on the ground without operation, and this number is expected to increase.
With the increasing number of aircraft that do not find passengers, the important question arises, which is how these aircraft will be accommodated on the ground.
Airlines are trying to keep the planes close to home. Currently, the aisles, maintenance areas, and loading areas of the world’s airports are filled with aircraft.
Sergio Fernandez, regional director of airports, passengers, freight and security for the European continent in IATA, said that airlines want to place their aircraft at airports near them, so that they can maintain them and return to work as soon as conditions permit.
In the United States, Delta and American Airlines announced that they would store 1,000 aircraft.
The largest hub for Delta Airline is located in Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta, Goria, and is one of the busiest centers in the world. Now, the company’s aircraft are lined up in one of the airport’s five corridors. Smaller airports have not escaped this either, for example Tulsa Airport in Oklahoma, USA, is a warehouse of American Airlines’ fleet.
This does not differ from the rest of the world’s airports, from London to Dubai and Singapore, as the airports have become places to line up planes, not to take off.
Europe is now home to about 500 aircraft on Earth, including 150 that carry more than 5 million people each year. There is still enough room to row the fleet, according to Fernandez.
But not all airlines follow the same policy. In Switzerland, for example, civilian aircraft are lined up at a military base near Zurich, which is close to the aircraft business area.
Before the aircraft line up, there are some things that must be done, as the cabin of the plane must be cleaned before being wrapped, and the tanks must be dried out of fuel and oil must be removed from the plane’s machines.
Placing aircraft in airport parking spaces is not free. While airports such as Heathrow and Charles de Gaulle are exempt from lining up, other airports apply fees. IATA addressed the world’s aviation ministries, demanding a reduction in the parking fee.
The cost of waiting for aircraft represents the equivalent of 2% of airport revenue, but this percentage may change due to the current circumstances.