COVID vs Goliaths

Unlike the majority of the world’s airliners, post-COVID-19 capacity levels are up in the air. The only certainty is that the industry which emerges from the coronavirus crisis will be far leaner. Martin Needham reviews recent retirements and widebody withdrawals.

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe, overcapacity swept airliners from the sky and into storage. With questions surrounding the ongoing crisis remaining unanswered, airlines are anticipating that their industry will come out the other side far leaner than it entered. In anticipation, carriers across the world have been quick to identify the weaker links in their fleets and earmark them for early retirement.

Virgin Atlantic was quick to act, prematurely bringing down the curtain on its trio of Toulouse-built Airbus A340-600s on March 8. The carrier flew the three jets to Glasgow, ending a 23-year association with the quad-jet, during which time it had operated 29 examples, which included ten A340-300s and 19 of the longer -600 variant.

img_26_1.jpg
KLM has flown the Boeing 747 since January 1971.
AIRTEAMIMAGES.COM/ DAAN VAN DER HEIJDEN

Quarantine and the Queens

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all KeyAero content
  • Exclusive in-depth articles and analysis, videos, quizzes added daily
  • A fully searchable archive – boasting hundreds of thousands of pieces of quality aviation content
  • Access to read all our leading aviation magazines online - meaning you can enjoy the likes of FlyPast, Aeroplane Monthly, AirForces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation News, Airports of the World, PC Pilot and Airliner World - as soon as they leave the editor’s desk.
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below