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Not enough space for parked aircraft

Will aircraft be parked in Spain’s ghost airports?

Up to 240 aircraft will be parked in Tarbes, Toulouse-Francazal and Teruel in June. Operator Tarmac Aerosave is therefore looking for more space.

Tarmac Aerosave can accommodate a total of 250 aircraft at its French sites in Tarbes and Toulouse-Francazal and in Teruel, Spain. In December 2019, the aircraft storage specialists counted 150 occupied stands. The ample reserve offered space for many new customers. They came faster than expected.

Due to the corona crisis, space became scarce in a flash. Tarmac Aerosave therefore already created about 25 percent additional parking spaces, among other things by accelerating some scrapping and using taxiways. Nevertheless, the joint venture of Airbus, Safran and Suez expects up to 240 aircraft to be parked at its sites in June.

Glance at Spain

And this despite the fact that many Europan airlines are currently cautiously expanding their flight schedules again. This is because Tarmac Aerosave also expects more planes in the coming weeks, which will first be returned by airlines to leasing companies and then parked by them. The company is gearing up for long-term customers. It is expected that about half of the 100 newly arriving aircraft will be parked for a year or more.

Tarmac is therefore looking for additional parking space. So far, the company has not revealed where these could be located. However, the focus should be on Spain. The Iberian peninsula has a dry climate with lots of sunny days. This is ideal for storing aircraft, which also shows the popularity of Teruel.

Many four-engine aircraft as guests

And there are enough airports in Spain that are no longer or hardly used. Built during the boom years, they became ghost airports during the euro crisis. The best known example is the Aeropuerto de Ciudad Real, which was planned as an alternative to the chronically congested Madrid-Barajas. Since 2011, it is no longer used by airlines. The company Jet Aircraft Services, for example, operates a facility there for scrapping aircraft. But also the airports of Albacete, Burgos or Lleida are hardly used anymore.

Particularly large jets are not needed during the crisis and in many cases not even after it. Tarmacs parking facilities accommodate Boeing 747s from British Airways, Airbus A380s, A340s and Boeing 747s from Lufthansa and Airbus A380s from Air France, among others. Air Caraïbes has also parked large, but significantly newer aircraft, the Airbus A350.

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