The world of travel and tourism is being drastically altered day after day no thanks to the coronavirus. Flights are either suspended or postponed alongside all other modes of transportation. Travel companies and agencies are feeling the expensive weight of grounding most of their aircraft and canceling bookings. To save their companies from tottering on the brink of bankruptcy, some have even resorted to laying off employees.
The boneyard in the desert
It’s not new to park planes in the desert but there have never been this many on the ground before. The huge parking spaces for airplanes are called “boneyards” and they’re typically located near the desert, perfect weather to preserve aircraft. Planes stay in the boneyard until they’re ready to be used again or have their parts recycled or broken up for scrap. But today’s circumstances have led to more and more planes to bestored in boneyards across the world.
A photo circulated online of Singapore Airlines (SIA) aircraft lined up at Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage (APAS) near Alice Springs, Australia. These include some of SIA’s largest commercial planes, the Airbus A380 superjumbos and Boeing 777s.
A spokesman from SIA confirmed with the Australian travel website Traveller that four of their superjumbos and three 777-200ERs were indeed parked at the facility. The spokesman further shared that of the fleet of 200 aircraft from SIA, only 10 are currently operating on scheduled passenger service and the airline has reduced its scheduled capacity by 96% due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The uncertainty of travel in the future
According to travel industry data analyst Cirium, at least 16,000 passenger jets are grounded worldwide. Nobody can tell for sure if anything will be back to normal a month, or even a year, from now. And not all these planes will be operational once lockdowns all over the world are gradually lifted, as we need to travel with caution for some time. Some of these planes will stay in boneyards for a long time, while others will likely be retired.
What do you think the future of travel will look like?