Spain’s COVID-19 boneyard

Aircraft graveyards play a key role at the end of an aircraft’s lifecycle. However, the onset of COVID-19 has thrown a spanner in the works as airframes are retired in record numbers, while new-built airliners are flown into storage. We join Sebastian Thoma as he provides a fascinating snapshot of Spain’s Teruel Airport

A mixture of Etihad Airways’ former Airbus A330-200/300 fleet in the older colour scheme remain in stored condition. Before the onset of COVID-19, the Abu Dhabi-based carrier had already begun phasing out A330 airframes. During its history, Etihad has flown 42 examples of the Airbus twin-jet (36 -200s and six -300s) 

Since my first trip to a Californian aircraft graveyard back in 2015, visiting such sites has become really special to me and I’ve enjoyed an annual pilgrimage to the western US ever since. With plans to publish a book on aircraft scrapyards by April next year – and the travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus – I have turned my attention to those that exist in Europe.

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