Plane parking lots to spring up around Australia

March 27, 2020
Photo: Marcus Graff

The few people still traveling around Australia will see more parked planes than they can poke the proverbial stick at scattered around the nation’s airports from early April.

Qantas is parking more than 150 aircraft and Virgin Australia 125  as a result of the precipitous fall in demand and the need to preserve cash.

Qantas said its aircraft would be parked at airports around Australia until demand returns. A handful would also be parked overseas.

READ: Embraer brings aviation innovation to the COVID-19 flight.

Victoria’s Avalon Airport and major airports in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney will each have around 40 parked aircraft.

Avalon, a former Qantas heavy maintenance base, will see the majority of the Qantas Airbus A330s as well as more than dozen Qantas and Jetstar Boeing 787s.

“Around 30 Qantas and Jetstar engineers will be deployed at Avalon to ensure the aircraft are ready to fly when demand returns,” the airline said.

Brisbane Airport will have a mix of aircraft and many of them will be undergoing maintenance checks at the airline’s facilities there.

Melbourne gets a mix of Jetstar Airbus A320s and A321s and 787s as well as Qantas Boeing 737s and Airbus A380s.

Sydney is where five Boeing 747s will be parked along with a number of A380s, Qantas 737s and Jetstar A320/A321s.

Qantas said about 30 aircraft would be used as operational spares and will be spread across the network.

Virgin chief executive Paul Scurrah said earlier this week that its aircraft would be spread across airports and defense facilities.

He said airports had put aside recent rivalry to help the airline.

Also looking at a busy time during the crisis is Australia’s only long-term aircraft storage facility, Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage, in Alice Springs.