Saturday 11 April 2020

Where Are All the Aircraft Being Stored?

British Airways ware sending half of its Airbus A380 fleet to Châteauroux, an aircraft graveyard in France. Last week the airline ferried five 747s to a Spanish aircraft graveyard as their capacity is currently unneeded.

March was an interesting month for the aviation industry with demand being brought to its knees across the globe. In fact, towards the end of last week, the number of daily passenger flights had fallen a staggering 75%. In order to cope with this huge decrease in demand, British Airways is sending some of its larger aircraft on holiday.

Six of British Airways’ Airbus A380s are going to be heading to France for an extended break from service. It is currently unconfirmed how long the aircraft will remain on the other side of the English Channel.

These aircraft are:
G-XLEA – The oldest British Airways Airbus A380, this aircraft is expected to head south today. At seven years old, this aircraft’s last passenger flight was on the 23rd of March from Johannesburg.
G-XLEC – Another seven-year-old Airbus A380, and the third received by British Airways. Its last passenger flight was from Singapore on the 23rd of March. The aircraft is already en-route to Châteauroux as BA9151.
G-XLEF – This six-year-old Airbus A380 is also currently en-route to Châteauroux as BA9152. Its last flight with passengers was from San Francisco on the 26th of March.
G-XLEI – This Airbus A380 is only five-years-old. Its last passenger flight was from Los Angeles on the 26th of March. This A380 is also due to fly to Châteauroux today.
G-XLEJ – The first aircraft due to fly to Châteauroux tomorrow, this A380 last flew passengers on the 27th of March from Los Angeles. It is four years old.
G-XLEL – Last but not least, this A380 is the airline’s youngest at four-years-old. Its last passenger flight was on the 25th of March from Johannesburg. This aircraft was also due to head to France. 

British Airways is sending some of its Boeing 747 aircraft to Teruel, a Spanish aircraft graveyard. At least five of the aircraft have so far made the journey south from London Heathrow.

The Air France-KLM group has announced it will reduce capacity by between 70 and 90 per cent over the coming months as travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic escalate.

The group said the reduction was currently scheduled to last for two months and would see Air France ground its entire A380 fleet and KLM ground its B747 fleet.

Both aircraft are already being retired from the airlines’ fleets over the coming years.

KLM network updates can be seen here. Air France updates can be seen here.

In a statement, the group said:

“The Covid-19 crisis has continued to spread in recent days, leading many countries to take increasingly stringent measures in an attempt to slow the rate of spread of the epidemic.

“Some countries have imposed constraints on the movement of travellers from France, the Netherlands or more broadly from Europe.

“In France, the transition to a level 3 public health emergency requires the closure of all non-essential services.

“Faced with these growing restrictions on the possibility of travelling and a strong downward trend in demand which has resulted in a drop in traffic and sales over the last few weeks, the Air France-KLM Group is obliged to gradually reduce its flight activity very significantly, with the number of available seat kilometres (ASK) potentially decreasing between -70 per cent and -90 per cent.”

It said that the group and its subsidiaries had more than €6 billion in cash and cash equivalents, it was forecasting a “sharply deteriorated financial trajectory” compared to that presented at its annual results last month.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused huge disruption to aviation, as wide-ranging travel bans come into effect around the world.

LOT Polish Airlines is suspending all its international operations as the country closes its borders.

LOT Fleet details here

The Lufthansa Group has cancelled 23,000 flights in April, Finnair says it will cut capacity by 90 per cent indefinitely, SAS will halt “most of its traffic” .
US airlines are reducing or suspending flights on international routes, and IAG, parent company of British Airways, is to cut capacity by 75 per cent.

Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic that has many people around the world on lockdown, KLM has started its summer schedule with a limited number of aircraft. Until the coronavirus crisis has passed, KLM has decided to park its largest aircraft at its home base of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS).

All of KLM’s Boeing 777-200s, Airbus A330s, and its last remaining 747s have been parked wherever there is space. The Netherland’s national flag carrier has also removed from service many of its regional aircraft such as the Boeing 737, and the Embraer 175s and 190s that it operates to destinations within Europe.