Emirates has released images of hundreds of its all-widebody aircraft fleet parked up at two airports across Dubai as the airline see’s out the Corona-crisis. Initially, 218 aircraft have been grounded and prepared for longterm parking – just over 80 per cent of Emirate’s 270 strong fleet of Airbus A380’s and Boeing 777’s. All of the airline’s A380’s have been parked, while 75 Boeing 777’s currently remain operational.
Just over half of the grounded planes are parked up at Dubai World Central airport (DWC), while 101 remain on the ground at Emirates’ hub at Dubai International Airport (DXB). Emirates says work to park up its massive fleet of planes and prepare them for longterm storage involved 15,500 man-hours of work.
“While a narrow-body aircraft only requires around 3-4 employees working for eight hours or so to cover it, our aircraft need 4-6 employees working a 12-hour shift,” explained Ahmed Safa, the airline’s DSVP for engineering.
“We don’t just cover our engines, but have a comprehensive aircraft parking and reactivation programme that strictly follows manufacturers’ guidelines and maintenance manuals, and we have enhanced standards and protocols of our own,” Safa continued.
And once demand picks up again and Emirates is ready to recommission these planes, the reverse process will take even longer. Between four and five engineers will be needed to get one aircraft ready for service again – a process that can take between 18 – 24 hours.
But while Emirates says it will be carrying out periodic checks on its grounded planes, it won’t be going to the same efforts as Etihad Airways. The Abu Dhabi-based airline has used this period to embark on a major project to refresh the interior of its planes – Over 10,000 seat covers have already been replaced and all carpets shampooed and washed. Further work is planned as the crisis drags on.
Last week, Emirates revealed that it does not intend to restart normal passenger operations until July 1 at the earliest. The airline had initially been eyeing an early June resumption of normal services but has pushed back its plans because of ongoing travel restrictions.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.