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There are more aircraft parked or in storage now than ever before

30 March 2020

With the aviation sector badly hit by the global COVID-19 crisis, the aviation industry is entering a crucially transformative time. Words like “Adaptation”, “Pivoting” and “Recovery” are taking on a new importance. As we go through this pandemic, AviaPro consultants are looking through the uncertainty at what lies ahead for our industry, arguably one of the hardest-hit by the crisis.


"Due to the COVID-19 impact on aviation, there are more aircraft parked or in storage now than ever before."

- Kevin Clarke, AviaPro Consulting’s Head of Delivery


According to our experts, over 50 000 aircraft are currently in storage, a figure that has more than doubled since the start of the year 2020. Believe it or not, this is the highest number of parked commercial aircraft in history.

Runways that have been closed to operations, at airports such as Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Seoul, Berlin and Vienna, are currently being used to park aircraft.

Some other airlines, like United and American, are parking planes at their maintenance facilities. More are expected to be parked this week with airlines such as Singapore Airlines and QANTAS announcing further flight cuts.

Here in Canada, where AviaPro Consulting Inc. is based, Air Canada has parked eight Embraer EJets at Muskoka Airport.

“It's a small airport, where the traffic is usually small recreational aircraft. For locals and anyone else who's flown there, this is quite a sight to see,” says Jorge Abando, AviaPro’s Head of Industrial Services.

This is just an example ⁠— albeit a particularly illustrative one ⁠— of the way the unprecedented “spillage” of commercial aircraft brought on by this crisis is being dealt with. 

We think that in these times of difficulty, cooperation and good faith will help companies of all types navigate the crisis. AviaPro acknowledges and applauds how Canada's aviation sector is helping each other out.


Air Cargo Bottlenecks could endanger lives without urgent government action, says IATA

According to the International Air Transport Association, “airlines are scrambling to meet the gap between cargo demand and available lift by all means possible, including re-introducing freighter services and using passenger aircraft for cargo operations”.

According to a press release dated March 25th: “air cargo is a vital partner in the global fight against COVID-19. But we are still seeing examples of cargo flights filled with life-saving medical supplies and equipment grounded due to cumbersome and bureaucratic processes to secure slots and operating permits. These delays are endangering lives. All governments need to step up to keep global supply chains open,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Read more about this here.

Commercial companies are adapting to operate cargo flights

According to an article published on March 28th by Forbes titled “Commercial Airlines Are Now Operating Cargo-Only Flights”, airlines like Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines, British Airways, Lufthansa, and many more have begun converting certain passenger flights to cargo-only flights.

The article reports that “passenger airlines generate 10-15% of their revenue through cargo. However, with very few passengers or baggage on aircraft, there is now a considerable amount of capacity for cargo.”

Author James Asquith goes on to write that “with nearly half the world’s population under lockdown, consumers are continuing to order goods online, and that means that the global flow must continue.”

Read the article authored by James Asquith here.


Do you have questions about how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting your company, and what actions you can take to minimize negative impacts while preparing for the global economic recovery? Please write to us at, and let’s start a conversation.


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