Mothballed Widebodies Pressed Into Domestic Service.
Due to the COVID-19 situation, airlines that have curtailed long-haul service to Asia and Europe because of the virus may be using some of the orphaned widebody aircraft on domestic routes to try and blunt the economic impact of the situation. According to USA Today, routes normally served by single-aisle aircraft are getting Boeing 777's and 787's.
Bean counters are busy doing the math to see where those aircraft, decked out with new entertainment systems and better cabin environments, might work more efficiently on the milk runs that make up the majority of flights.
Parking a $400 million aircraft like a new B-777 is expensive and in the complex cost structure of airlines it can sometimes be less expensive to fly a big airplane with empty seats than to let it sit idle as a much less expensive B-737 or A320 flies full.
An analysis by the newspaper showed American, Delta and United have all increased the use of intercontinental aircraft on two- to four-hour domestic routes. United will fly widebodies on almost 2700 domestic flights in April, up 54 percent over April of 2019, while American will boost their use by 37 percent and Delta will increase their domestic use by 73 percent.
Abandoned 1967 Hawker Siddeley Trident - Belfast, Northern Ireland
This 1967 Hawker Siddeley Trident passenger plane has been abandoned on the airport's fringes, and left to the ravages of time.
(Source: MicroSoft News, November 6, 2019)
This cylinder of sadness once serviced British Airways, and its royal blue coating still remains relatively bright, despite decades upon decades of neglect.
Thanks to the famously rainy climate of the Emerald Isle, plenty of moss is thriving all across the shell of the plane, thoroughly frosting it in eerie stains of green.
(Source: Instagram/irish aviation)
Editor's note by Ken Pickford:
Research indicates that aircraft is the former British Airways Trident 2E G-AVFE, delivered to predecessor British European Airways in 1968 and retired by British Airways in 1985, and subsequently used as a fire trainer at Belfast airport.
Abandoned airports - Kal Tak - Hong Kong.
Kai Tak International was Hong Kong’s main airport from 1925 to 1998, when it closed and all traffic moved to the new Hong Kong International Airport, 30 miles to the west.
Surrounded by mountains and buildings, it was one of the world’s most notorious for take-offs and landings, especially on the famous track 13, since the aircraft had to make a turn of 90 or even 180 degrees.