AviationThousands of passengers jets around the world in lockdown

Where have all the planes gone? To the parking lot, almost every one

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Emirates planes fill the runways and aprons at Dubai World Central.
Emirates planes fill the runways and aprons at Dubai World Central. Photo Credit: Emirates Airline.

DUBAI - More than 16,000 passenger jets – roughly two thirds of the global fleet - are grounded worldwide, according to industry researcher Cirium.

All of which presents a huge headache for airlines seeking space to park their aircraft and maintain them ahead of restarting operations.

Emirates has been flying some of its Airbus A380 aircraft a short distance to Dubai World Central for storage. Photos released by the carrier show the UAE carrier’s fleet grounded at the unfinished airport.

While the fleet remains grounded, Emirates’ maintenance team will inspect the aircraft every five to seven days.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad said its engineers are working around the clock maintaining its grounded fleet, a process that includes running engines and powering up aircraft, checking flight controls, and covering sensors and engines to protect inner workings from sand and dust.

Elsewhere, state-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura I said 95 planes from various airlines are parked at its 11 airports across Indonesia for long-stay periods.

National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has the highest number of parked aircraft with 27, followed by Lion Air with 21 planes, AirAsia Indonesia with 19, Wings Air with 11 and Citilink Indonesia with eight aircraft, according to data provided by the operator.

Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali has the most parked planes with a total of 30 aircraft.

Cathay Pacific has grounded more than 96% of flights. Aircraft can be seen parked along the aprons and taxiways at Hong Kong International Airport.

Qantas said it has more than 200 aircraft, including Jetstar’s Boeing 787 Dreamliners, parked at airports around Australia.

Near Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage Pty is holding aircraft for among others, Singapore Airlines and Fiji Airways.

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