Swiss International Air Lines, part of the Lufthansa Group, as many airlines around the world found itself forced to ground planes in the wake of the 2020 events. However now, with air travel demand surpassing in many cases, the moment has come to bring back these planes from their parking and get them generating revenue once again. The last of the LX stored planes has finally come back online marking the return of the airline to its full fleet force. Here are the details.
In this post:
The Last Swiss Stored Plane Returns to Active Service
Swiss as other sister airlines of the LH group had stored part of its fleet in order to save money as an aftereffect of the pandemic. The airline sent away both wide body and narrow body planes.
However with air traffic on the continuous rise, the airline has been working to bring back into service as many of these planes as possible.
Finally Swiss is down to the last plane. The airlines is bringing back into service the last of the stored aircraft. Specifically that would be an Airbus A320-200 (ceo version), with registration HB-IJO. This plane has been stored in Amman, Jordan, since 2020.
HB-IJO is the last of the planes to return for a clear reason. It is one of the oldest airplanes still operating under the Swiss colours. The aircraft has been serving the Helvetic flag carrier since 1997 making it one of the longest serving planes in the fleet with 26 years of age.
Therefore all the younger planes were brought back first and then only when clearly needed the older ones returned too. The plane features an all economy seat cabin with a maximum capacity of 180 passengers.
The plane returned from Amman on a special ferry flight marked with number LX5183. The flight brought the A320-200 back to Zurich on December 17th 2023 with flight time clocking in at 4 hours 58 minutes.
Now the plane will reenter service in the airline’s short/medium range operations, serving destinations across Europe.
Image by Swiss.
Where and Why do Airlines Store Planes?
Airlines cannot just park planes anywhere when they don’t need them. There are some issues that come with parking planes in the wrong location.
Planes are primarily made of aluminium. If parked in areas with a high humidity rate they would risk facing corrosion among other issues which would make them no longer airworthy.
Therefore airlines chose to park their planes primarily is dry areas such as deserts. Swiss in particular chose Amman, Jordan, for its aircraft storage.
Other storage locations are in the western United States, North Africa and the Middle East. In essence if there’s a desert, chances are the conditions are favourable for storing planes.