Grounded planes sit on runways

Date:20 April 2020 Author: Leila Stein Tags:, ,

International and local travel has stopped during the national lockdowns. This doesn’t mean planes just disappear, so what has happened to all those aircraft?

At any given moment there are usually thousands of planes in the air, ferrying people between countries and across them.

“In March, we’d typically expect to see between 175,000 and 180,000 total flights per day,” Ian Petchenik from flight tracking website FlightRadar24, told BBC. “At any one time that’s generally between 10,000 and 15,000 flights. Those numbers have fallen significantly to just 64,522 flights tracked on 29 March.”

Since planes are largely kept in the air to keep up with traffic and keep them in good shape, airlines have had to make other plans in order to store the large number of aircraft not being used.

Turkish Airlines put up a drone video showing their aircraft stacked neatly behind one another on the runway at Atatuk Airport.

While many have been parked on runways until the time they can fly again, there are still too many planes for the runways that can house them.

Some airlines have put some of their planes into ‘boneyards’ typically used for retired aircraft. The lockdown has also led to the acceleration of retiring of aircraft by many airlines.

Image: @zacovid/Twitter


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