As U.S. airlines are facing drastic changes amid the coronavirus pandemic, unused planes are being stored at various locations around the country — and one airport in California is now providing a temporary home to hundreds of empty airliners.
At Southern California Logistics Airport, which is located in the Mojave Desert town of Victorville, one of the airport’s two runways has been shut down to accommodate hundreds of planes no longer being used by Delta, Southwest and FedEx, as shown in a viral YouTube video by amateur pilot and video editor Bryan Keith.
In his video, Keith is granted permission to fly over the airport by tower controllers, who tells him that while they didn’t have an exact number of planes being stored there, they thought there were “over 400” — with more due to arrive in the future.
“I don’t even want to know how many billions of dollars of jets are down there,” Keith says while flying over, documenting the long lines of planes parked closely together up and down the runway area.
Illustrating just how much airplane travel has been affected by the global health crisis, earlier this month United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz and President Scott Kirby said the company had seen a 97 percent reduction in demand, noting that they “expect to fly fewer people during the entire month of May than we did on a single day in May 2019.”
Sydney-based CAPA Centre for Aviation predicted last month that many airlines will have a hard time bouncing back financially, although the three major U.S. airlines — Delta, United and American, which have all dramatically reduced the number of flights and areas to which they fly — will likely survive.
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