Grounded planes due to coronavirus photos: Thousands of aircraft parked around the world

Striking images from around the world have laid bare the impact of COVID19 on airlines. 

With airlines suspending flights and grounding thousands of aircraft, planes have been lined up by the dozen at airports and storage facilities around the world. 

Data from Ascend by Cirium puts the number of parked aircraft around the world at 4700.  The International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates global airline passenger revenues will fall by $413 billion if the current travel restrictions are in place for three months. 

Take a look at the images of grounded aircraft around the world in the photo gallery above.

Qantas alone has grounded 150 planes as it cuts services by 90 per cent in the wake of the virus. Many of the airline's planes, along with those of its budget subsidiary Jetstar, are currently parked at Avalon Airport on the outskirts of Melbourne. 

Similarly, Virgin Australia has grounded 125 planes and stood down 80 per cent of its staff, as well as making its entire crew of Tigerair pilots redundant.

While other airlines are grounded, Qatar Airways is actually increasing flights to Australia. The airline has added 28 new flights to Australia, equivalent to 48,000 additional seats, and launched its first route between Doha and Brisbane. According to Qatar Airways, their remains demand from Australians trying to get home from around the world. 

The world's largest airline (by fleet size), American Airlines, has cut its capacity in April by 60 per cent and plans to cut capacity by 80 per cent in May. The airline has grounded almost all its widebody planes and plans to permanently retire more than 150 of its older jets, including 76 Boeing 737s.

Below is a list of how the world's biggest airlines have responded to the virus outbreak (in alphabetical order):



Air France-KLM said on March 16 it would park its biggest airliners and slash services by up to 90 per cent. The group said it had identified measures to save 200 million euros ($359 million) in 2020 and ways to cut its capital expenditure by 350 million euros.


Air New Zealand said on March 16 it would cut long-haul capacity by 85 per cent in the coming months and the domestic network by 30 per cent in April and May.

The airline has withdrawn its full-year outlook, frozen hiring and offered unpaid leave to staff.


American Airlines plans to cut 75 per cent of its international flights through May 6 and ground nearly all its widebody fleet.


China Southern Airlines reported on March 18 a 73 per cent drop in February passenger capacity, saying the impact from the epidemic remains uncertain.


Delta is cutting domestic capacity by 10 per cent to 15 per cent and international by 20 per cent to 25 per cent, freezing hiring, offering voluntary leave options to staff and looking at early retirement of older aircraft.

It had received over 4,500 requests from flight attendants for voluntary unpaid leave in April, according to a March 14 paper seen by Reuters.


Britain's EasyJet has grounded its fleet of 344 planes and has no clear idea when it might resume flights, the company said on March 30.

EasyJet said it would lay off its 4,000 UK-based cabin crew for two months, meaning they won't work from April 1 but will get 80 per cent of their average pay under a state job retention scheme.


El Al sent 5,500 of its 6,000 workers on unpaid leave until May 31 after it slashed its flight schedule.


Emirates said on March 23 it would suspend all passenger flights for two weeks starting from March 25.


On March 17, Finnair said it would cancel most of its flights until the end of June as it started transitioning to a limited network.


International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG), the owner of British Airways and Iberia, said it would cut its flying capacity by at least 75 per cent in April and May.

The group detailed cost cuts including a freeze on discretionary spending, working hours reductions and a temporary suspension of employment contracts.

On March 17, the UK pilot union BALPA said that British Airways was due to make an unspecified number of pilots redundant.


JetBlue, which pulled its first-quarter and 2020 earnings forecast, said it was adjusting schedules between March and early May and was considering more flight cancellations.

JetBlue said the outbreak was expected to make at least a six percentage-point dent in its total revenue per available seat mile in the first quarter.


The German carrier cut long-haul capacity by up to 90 per cent from March 17, and said it would only operate 20 per cent of planned intra-Europe flights.

On March 27 Lufthansa applied for short-time work for around 31,000 crew and ground staff at its core brand until the end of August, stating that around 700 of Lufthansa's roughly 760 planes were currently grounded.

Austrian Airlines, a part of the Lufthansa group, has halted all regular flight operations until April 19.


Norwegian Air said on March 16 it would cancel 85 per cent of its flights and temporarily lay off 7,300 employees. The cancellations add to an already difficult financial situation at Norwegian, which has scrapped its 2020 outlook and lost 70 per cent of its market value this year.


Qantas has suspended all international flights from Australia and around 60 per cent of domestic traffic at least until end of May.

The airline said it could no longer provide guidance on the outbreak's financial impact. Its CEO will take no salary for the rest of the year, the management team will receive no bonuses and all staff are encouraged to take paid or unpaid leave.


Qatar Airways laid off around 200 employees, all Filipino nationals based in Qatar.


The Irish airline said on March 16 it would ground most of its aircraft in Europe, expected to cut seat capacity by 80 per cent for the next two months, and could even ground its entire fleet.

On March 24 Ryanair said it does not expect to operate flights in April or May.


The Danish and Swedish governments said on March 17 they would provide guarantees totalling 3 billion Swedish crowns ($302 million) to SAS, which has grounded most of its fleet and temporarily laid off 90 per cent of staff.


Singapore Airlines on March 23 cut capacity by 96 per cent, grounded almost its entire fleet and imposed cost cuts affecting about 10,00 staff.


Southwest, which has withdrawn its previous 2020 financial guidance, said it would reduce capacity by at least 20 per cent from April 14 through June 5.


Portugal's flag carrier, which had previously cut 3,500 flights through May, said on March 19 it would further reduce its operations between March 23 and April 19, expecting to fly to just 15 of its 90 destinations.


The Chicago-based airline said on March 20 it would slash its international schedule by 95 per cent for April because of government restrictions prohibiting travel.


Virgin Atlantic, the UK-based airline, said it would ground 75 per cent of its fleet by 26 March and by up to 85 per cent at points in April, as it cancelled more flights.


Canada's WestJet suspended all commercial international flights for 30 days from March 22 and reduced its domestic schedule by 50 per cent. (


The Hungary-based budget airline said on March 23 it is operating 15 per cent of its capacity and warned that grounding its entire fleet remained a possibility. 

with Reuters

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