These Photos Show How Unused Airplanes are Just Parked in Deserts

Ever wondered what has become of all the unused aircraft during this pandemic?
by | May 07, 2020

The world of travel and tourism is being drastically altered day after day no thanks to the coronavirus. Flights are either suspended or postponed alongside all other modes of transportation. Travel companies and agencies are feeling the expensive weight of grounding most of their aircraft and canceling bookings. To save their companies from tottering on the brink of bankruptcy, some have even resorted to laying off employees.


The boneyard in the desert

It’s not new to park planes in the desert but there have never been this many on the ground before. The huge parking spaces for airplanes are called “boneyards” and they’re typically located near the desert, perfect weather to preserve aircraft. Planes stay in the boneyard until they’re ready to be used again or have their parts recycled or broken up for scrap. But today’s circumstances have led to more and more planes to bestored in boneyards across the world.

READ:  These Are the Last Places In The World Without COVID-19 Cases

A photo circulated online of Singapore Airlines (SIA) aircraft lined up at Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage (APAS) near Alice Springs, Australia. These include some of SIA’s largest commercial planes, the Airbus A380 superjumbos and Boeing 777s.

“Billions of dollars worth of aircraft mothballed in the desert near Alice Springs,” photographer Steve Strike wrote on his Facebook post. “I can’t imagine the long term effects of this. I don’t think anyone has any idea how travel in the world will be in the future.”

READ: These Countries Are Gradually Lifting Their Lockdown Measures

A spokesman from SIA confirmed with the Australian travel website Traveller that four of their superjumbos and three 777-200ERs were indeed parked at the facility. The spokesman further shared that of the fleet of 200 aircraft from SIA, only 10 are currently operating on scheduled passenger service and the airline has reduced its scheduled capacity by 96% due to COVID-19 restrictions.

It’s not just Singapore Airlines that is putting its jets to rest. Airlines all over the world are doing the same thing, and because some boneyards are at full capacity, many planes are parked at the airport runways. But this can’t go on forever. One can imagine that companies won’t be able to bear the cost of letting thousands of planes sit unused for a long period of time.


The uncertainty of travel in the future

According to travel industry data analyst Cirium, at least 16,000 passenger jets are grounded worldwide. Nobody can tell for sure if anything will be back to normal a month, or even a year, from now. And not all these planes will be operational once lockdowns all over the world are gradually lifted, as we need to travel with caution for some time. Some of these planes will stay in boneyards for a long time, while others will likely be retired.


What do you think the future of travel will look like?

Kyzia spends most of her time capturing the world around her through photos, paragraphs, and playlists. She is constantly on the hunt for the perfect chocolate chip cookie, and a great paperback thriller to pair with it.

Post a Comment