As several airlines grounded thousands of aircrafts amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak, they are facing an unprecedented problem finding a place to park them. As per reports, taxiways, maintenance hangars and even runways at major airports are being transformed into giant parking lots for more than 2,500 airliners. The number of flights in the storage has doubled to more than 5,000 since the start of the year, according to Cirium data, with more airlines are expected to be parked in the coming weeks. Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd and Singapore Airlines Ltd have reportedly further announced cuts to flight schedules, as per reports.
Dunno, this is a runway at ATL that has been closed off to accommodate parked aircraft. Maybe the lines are bad because passenger demand far outweighs flight availability,airport staffing and flight availability. pic.twitter.com/OW8fISAH1F— Brigitte Combs (@AbeilleCombs) March 22, 2020
Germany's biggest airport, Frankfurt has been reportedly converted to an aircraft parking lot for Lufthansa, Condor and other airlines. Lufthansa has rented parking spots at a military airport close to Zurich, as per reports. Similarly, scores of planes are parked at other major airports, including Hong Kong, Seoul, Berlin and Vienna as well as traditional desert parking lots in Victorville, California, and Marana, Arizona, according to data from flight-tracking website FlightRadar24.
In Manila, Philippines Airlines jets are parked in the Lufthansa Technik Philippines hangar, an airline official reportedly said. Smaller airports have also been converted to parking lots. As per reports, Melbourne airport also expects to take 50 planes from Qantas and its low-cost airline, Jetstar, according to the airport's chief executive, Justin Giddings.
According to international media, the outbreak COVID-19 has wiped 41%, or $157 billion, off the share value of the world's 116 listed airlines, with many using up their cash so fast they can now cover less than two months of expenses. Meanwhile, the industry's main global body, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), estimates the sector needs up to $200 billion in government support to help airlines survive.