Third of global airline fleet in storage as coronavirus rages

Around one third of the global commercial airline fleet is currently in storage as carriers seek to weather the coronavirus pandemic.

Nearly 900 jets have been added to the stored inventory during the past day, according to data from analytics expert, Cirium. In total, around 7,500 planes are now idle as schedules continue to be cut.

Since yesterday, more than 600 Airbus and Boeing narrow-bodied planes have been re-classified as in-storage, together with approximately 180 widebodies. The figures are net of the small number of aircraft recently returned to service in China.

Cirium has transferred just under 100 passenger jets operated by Chinese airlines from ‘in-storage’ status to ‘in-service’ over the past seven days. Chinese carriers are close to reaching the milestone of 3,000 aircraft in operation.

Cirium tracking shows Chinese airlines flew slightly fewer than 1,750 of their Airbus and Boeing aircraft on Tuesday, collectively logging over 4,200 flight cycles and 9,300 flight hours.

Compared with Tuesday, March 26th last year, this still represents a 40 per cent reduction in the number of aircraft observed flying, and a 60 per cent decline in daily hours and cycles logged.