Stunning aerial pictures show hundreds of aircraft parked in a desert ‘boneyard’ after airlines including Delta and United placed them in long-term storage as flight operations are cut to around 5% of normal operations due to the coronavirus.
Ranks of jets are seen lined up at Pinal Airpark, 90 miles south of Phoenix, where the dry desert air helps to keep them in good condition and stops them from rusting while they are not being used during the global health crisis.
The ‘boneyard’ was already home to hundreds of retired commercial and military aircraft but now major airlines have parked up huge amount of their fleets for the foreseeable future.
Decommissioned and suspended Delta commercial aircrafts are seen stored in Pinal Airpark
Dozens of decommissioned and suspended Delta and jetBlue commercial aircraft are now in storage
Pinal Airpark is the largest commercial aircraft storage facility in the world, currently holding increased numbers of aircraft in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic
Canadian airline WestJet had its 737-MAX aircraft stored at the airpark even before the current health crisis
Pinal Airpark is the largest commercial aircraft storage facility in the world, but it is not just a parking lot.
Airlines are paying not only for the parking spots and for technicians to ensure that the planes are ready to go should they be needed again.
Many of the aircraft early on in the health crisis came from Delta Air Lines, while JetBlue has accounted for most of the arrivals in April.
Air Canada and its low-cost subsidiary, Rouge, have sent about 30 aircraft.
Canadian airline WestJet had its 737-MAX aircraft stored at the airpark even before the current health crisis, after the entire global fleet was grounded following a pair of horror crashes in 2018 and 2019.
But some older aircraft that were due to be retired in the coming year will now likely not fly ever again, as airlines desperately try to cut costs and save money.
Pinal Air Park is not just a parking lot for the aircraft – airlines are paying not only for the parking spots and for technicians to ensure that the planes are ready to go the moment they’re needed again
Air Canada Rouge has parked its jets neatly side by side waiting until they are required to fly once again
One of hundreds of planes that have arrived at the airpark in recent months and now in storage until demand rises again
JetBlue planes sit idle on the tarmac waiting for the opportunity to take to the skies again
Things are starting to get crowded at one of the world’s largest parking lots for idle airliners, just outside of Marana
Large Air Canada Rouge planes sit at Pinal Airpark where they will remain while the coronavirus pandemic puts most of the world’s foreign travel on hold
Throughout April, JetBlue has sent more than 80 airliners to the desert and placed them in storage
The Pinal Airpark is a public-use airport in Pinal County, Arizona, around seven miles from the central business district of Marana.
It covers an area of 2,080 acres and has single runway measuring almost 7,000ft long.
The Airpark can hold around 370 aircraft in total but space appears to be filling up fast with new arrivals daily.
Many aging aircraft that touch down at the airpark may never take to the skies again and the skeletons of many old models can be found laid out in the sun.
Delta laid its final Boeing 747 passenger plane to rest at the Arizona graveyard in January 2018, marking the final flight of the jumbo jet by a U.S. carrier. United Airlines had previously retired its last model from service the previous November.
Some older aircraft that were due to be retired in the coming year will now likely not fly ever again
There’s still space for plenty more planes to be placed into storage including for smaller regional jets like these, pictured
The Airpark is mainly used as a ‘boneyard’ for commercial planes, with older planes stored there with the hope that the desert climate will stop them from rusting
The Airpark can hold around 370 aircraft in total but space appears to be filling up fast with new arrivals daily
Steep cuts to domestic and international air travel has seen smaller jetliners to join the wide-body aircraft typically used for long-haul flights
Many of the aircraft early on came from Delta Air Lines. JetBlue has accounted for most of the arrivals in April. Air Canada and its low-cost subsidiary, Rouge, have sent about 30 aircraft
JetBlue have parked up almost 100 of its aircraft as demand for flights has plummeted by some 95% with no end in sight
JetBlue’s Airbus A320, A319 and regional jet Embraer aircraft can all be seen in this aerial shot of the airpark
Air Canada aeroplanes grounded by coronavirus have had to find indefinite parking spaces in the deserts of the Southwest
Aircraft from various carriers including Air Canada were flown to the park in Marana, Arizona, where they will remain for the foreseeable future
The aircraft are packed snug and tight on the airfield. They won’t take to the skies until they are needed once again
Airlines have been forced to cut back on services due to the coronavirus pandemic, with many countries closing their borders to foreign travelers in unprecedented efforts to flatten the curve of infections.
The demand for travel has plunged worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic, as business and leisure travelers cancel their trips.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been publishing information on how many passengers have passed through US airport checkpoints each day, with a comparison to how many traveled on the same day of the week last year.
In the U.S. alone, the numbers of passengers traveling are just 5% what would normally be expected, meaning there has been a whopping 95% decline travel.
A recently landed Delta Air Lines airplane is worked on by ground crew at Pinal Airpark. This photo was taken in March
Delta Air Lines planes are seen next to other decommissioned aircraft at their final resting place in Pinal Airpark
An aerial view of Pinal Airpark, where many old aircrafts are laid to rest stretched out in the Arizona sun, pictured in 2018
Tail fins of passenger planes, mostly Delta Air Lines planes, sit parked at Pinal Airpark
Decommissioned and suspended commercial aircraft are seen stored in Pinal Airpark
US airlines have slashed their domestic and foreign flights in response to the coronavirus pandemic
US airlines are slashing their domestic and foreign flights in response to President Donald Trump’s travel ban
An aerial view of Penal Park in Arizona taken two years ago, showing the rows of decommissioned planes
Decommissioned and suspended commercial aircrafts are seen stored in Pinal Airpark in March in Marana, Arizona
A decommissioned 747 is seen among various smaller planes at the Pinal Airpark, which is mainly used as a ‘boneyard’ for commercial planes
Decommissioned and suspended commercial aircrafts are seen stored in Pinal Airpark. Most aging aircraft that touch down at the airpark will never take to the skies again and the skeletons of many old models can be found laid out in the sun
At least one hundred planes were already sitting on the ground at the boneyard having been retired by their airlines
Delta laid its final Boeing 747 passenger plane to rest at the Arizona graveyard in January 2018, marking the final flight of the jumbo jet by a U.S. carrier
With a stripped passenger plane in the foreground, a recently landed Delta Air Lines airplane is worked on by ground crew
A recently landed Delta Air Lines jet is towed off the runway at Pinal Airpark. Many passenger planes are being kept at the facility as airlines cut back on service
Mothballed Delta Air Lines passenger planes are joined by recently arrived Delta airplanes at Pinal Airpark
A recently landed Delta Air Lines plane is towed past two stripped passenger planes at Pinal Airpark