General Aviation > Civil Aviation News

2302 airliners are now in desert storage in the US


Frightening times for US airlines
MARANA, Arizona - Old jets come here, empty engine pods shrink-wrapped in white, tall red tails fading to pink in the desert sun. More will come soon. Some will never fly again.

Airlines have announced plans over the past year to take 1,700 planes out of service as fewer people fly. United Airlines is retiring all 94 of its Boeing 737s by the end of this year, and Northwest Airlines has cut its old DC-9 fleet by about a third.

The number of planes in storage has jumped 29 percent in the past year to 2,302, according to aerospace data firm Ascend Worldwide. That includes 930 parked by U.S. operators alone.

747 in storage at Evergreen

The people who run these facilities chafe at the idea that they’re groundskeepers in a graveyard. While Evergreen scraps roughly 15 planes a year, most of the stored planes still get checks, extensive record-keeping and federally mandated maintenance that will let them return to service if travel demand and the price of jet fuel cooperate in the future. Storing a 747 with the required maintenance checks costs $60,000 a year at Evergreen, half that for a smaller jet.

Good post. Another sign of the economic crises. I was driving on the highway on a weekday, and noticed all the trucks sitting idle in the parking lots of the logistics companies, but somehow when planes are sitting in storage it makes it seem even more concerning. I wonder if (second hand) aircraft prices will drop.

I wonder how many of these planes would ever fly again. I know there is a big market in second hand spares for airliners but a whole plane? I know that Qantas wouldn't even dream of it.
I think that once they are stored they're finished as passenger planes. Maybe some could end up freighters though.


[0] Message Index

Go to full version