New images released by Teruel Airport show just how many planes the Spanish aircraft graveyard is currently home to. Among the residents are 12 Airbus A380s from Air France, British Airways, and Lufthansa, among many other short-and-long-haul aircraft.
Many expected 2020 to be the year of sustainability in the aviation industry. However, as the course of events would show, the industry would slash its emissions for a somewhat different reason. Hundreds of planes were grounded due to a sudden lack of passengers. With a lack of space tied to expensive parking fees, airlines looked for options other than major international airports to store their fleets.
A bumper year for Teruel
2020 was a bumper year for Teruel Airport and a year that it indeed wasn’t expecting. The airport had been a final resting place for an eclectic mix of aircraft ranging from a former Hi Fly A340 to Transaero’s 747s.
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If you visit the airport today, you’ll be treated with a far different sight. Rows upon rows of grounded widebody jets. Lufthansa’s blue and yellow tails seem to be the dominant tail in the mix. However, the number of British Airways tails (accompanied by Lucky Air’s incredibly similar tail) is also noticeable. Simple Flying counted 104 aircraft in storage show in Teruel’s photos of the site,
— Aeropuerto de Teruel, vuela la innovación (@aeropuerteruel) January 28, 2021
Expanding the site
Indeed, it seems that as a result of its sudden explosion in popularity, the site at Teruel is being expanded. Historical satellite imagery from Google Maps shows a reasonable number of aircraft sitting on paved areas to the storage facility’s south-east.
It seems as though these aircraft were predominately aircraft with little chance of flying again. They’ve since been moved onto the unpaved area to allow the new arrivals to use the paved taxiways. The airport is currently in the process of building more paved areas to the north of the storage facility where even more aircraft can be parked.
Even more aircraft are coming
Unfortunately, for many, the recovery of the aviation industry still seems a long way off. While there are hopes that a broad rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine will reenable widespread travel, things in Europe seem to be getting worse by the day. Indeed, today Emirates will be banned from flying to the UK, while Germany is expected to bring in a travel ban from virus variant areas.
Teruel will be getting more residents, with at least four Lufthansa A380s set to join the collection in the coming months. Sadly, it seems as though many aircraft, including the German flag carrier’s A340 fleet, may never leave the facility.
What do you make of the situation in Teruel? Will it see many more aircraft? Let us know what you think and why in the comments.