How Many Aircraft Does British Airways Still Have In Storage?

British Airways was forced to send a considerable portion of its fleet into long-term storage as the effects…

How Many Aircraft Does British Airways Still Have In Storage?

British Airways was forced to send a considerable portion of its fleet into long-term storage as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic began to be felt. While aircraft have been shuffled around, many remain grounded for the time being, which begs the question, how many?

How many of British Airways’ aircraft remain inactive? Photo: Getty Images

The aviation industry is finally recovering, though the UK is a fair bit behind due to its strict COVID-19 travel rules. These are set to be relaxed in stages throughout October, but a large portion of the fleet will largely remain grounded until they are.

74 aircraft inactive

According to data from ch-aviation.com, 80 of British Airways’ aircraft are currently listed as inactive out of 257 in the aircraft’s fleet (not including Cityflyer’s E190s). Surprisingly, the majority of these aircraft are narrowbodies. Across the Airbus A320 family, 54 are currently listed as inactive by ch-aviation. This includes 18 A319s, 18 A320s, and 18 A321s (all ceo aircraft).

By comparison, only 20 of the airline’s widebody aircraft are currently inactive. This includes seven Boeing 777-200(ER) jets. While all of the airline’s Boeing 787-10s and -8s are flying, one of the -9s is currently inactive. This aircraft is being repaired after an incident earlier this summer. Additionally, the entire Airbus A380 fleet is now idle, accounting for the other 12 aircraft.

British Airways
Initially, many narrowbodies were stored in Glasgow. Photo: Getty

Along with the airline’s 787-8s and 787-10s, the entire 777-300(ER) fleet is currently operational, alongside all of the Airbus A350s and A320neo family aircraft.

Where are the aircraft stored?

British Airways got reasonably creative with its fleet storage at the very start of the pandemic, as it simply couldn’t store all its fleet at Heathrow at once. Many 747s were sent to Bournemouth, while several narrowbodies went to Glasgow. The situation has changed somewhat now. While two A320s remain up at Glasgow, Bournemouth has been cleared.

21 of the airline’s Airbus A320 family aircraft are at its secondary Gatwick base, which has caused a stir recently as British Airways decides what to do with the airport’s operations. The Airbus A380 fleet has a reasonably interesting storage plan. While one was recently returned to London Heathrow, three are in Doha, with a further two resting their wings in Teruel. Two Boeing 777-200s join the A380s at Teruel.

british airways a380
The Airbus A380 fleet used to be parked in Chateauroux. Photo: Getty Images

Six Airbus A380 aircraft are at Madrid’s Barajas Airport. They are joined by far more of the airline’s aircraft. Roughly 25 Airbus A320 family are resting their wings in the Spanish sun, with the majority consisting of the Airbus A321.

Will this number go down?

As mentioned, the inactive aircraft are heavily weighted towards the narrowbody fleet. Yesterday’s announcement that the US is reopening to European travelers seems to have spurred a considerable demand that could see some widebody aircraft returning to service.

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Later in October, the UK government is set to replace the requirement to take a PCR test after arriving in the UK with a rapid test. This should bring down travel costs and perhaps spur more short-haul travel. Unfortunately, the government has missed the busy summer season, with flight schedules usually quieter in the winter anyway.

When did you last fly on a British Airways aircraft? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!

Source : Simple Flying More   

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16 Years On: What Caused The JetBlue Nose Gear Incident?

On September 21, 2005, a JetBlue flight between Burbank and New York City had to do an emergency…

16 Years On: What Caused The JetBlue Nose Gear Incident?

On September 21, 2005, a JetBlue flight between Burbank and New York City had to do an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport. The incident was due to a malfunction of the nose gear. But, what happened on that day? Let’s investigate further.

JetBlue’s flight 292 had a hard landing 16 years ago. Photo: Andrewmarino via Wikimedia Commons.

JetBlue Flight 292

JetBlue scheduled Flight 292 between Burbank’s Bob Hope Airport and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The airline used an Airbus A320-232, registration N536JB (and called Canyon Blue).

Onboard Flight 292 on September 21, 2005, were 140 passengers and six crew members. The aircraft departed Burbank at 15:17 and was scheduled to fly nearly 2,500 miles to New York City.

The first officer was flying the aircraft. During the initial departure, he didn’t notice any problem and even had a positive rate of climb, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Nevertheless, a few minutes after, the flight crew noted an error message displayed on the Electric Centralized Aircraft Monitoring system. The crew could not retract the nose landing gear.

While the captain consulted the flight crew operating manual, the first officer flew over Palmdale, California. But, after a while, it became obvious that the flight wouldn’t go all the way to New York.

JetBlue A320
The crew of the flight had to land at Los Angeles International Airport. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

What happened next?

The crew diverted the flight to Long Beach, California. According to the NTSB, the captain decided to perform a flyby of the tower for verification of the gear status.

The tower, JetBlue ground personnel, and a local news helicopter advised him that the nose landing gear was canted 90 degrees to the left.

Instead of turning back to Burbank, the captain decided to land in Los Angeles International Airport. The NTSB discusses the captain’s choice “because it had optimum field conditions, runway length, and better emergency support services.” Before landing, the crew burn fuel for several hours.

Prior to landing, the captain announced its crew and passengers to brace for impact. He touched down at 120 knots, and did not use ground spoilers, reverse thrust, or auto-braking. Once the aircraft completely stopped, the air traffic control tower confirmed that there was no fire, and the passengers deplaned normally, using an airstair.

Both of the nose landing gear tires deflated and tore apart. Despite the abnormal nose landing gear configuration, the airplane stayed on the runway centerline, and its trajectory was unaffected.

16 Years On: What Caused The JetBlue Nose Gear Incident?
Following the incident, the NTSB launched an investigation. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

What caused the incident?

Following the hard landing at Los Angeles, the NTSB launched an investigation on the incident. The Board determined,

“Examination of the nose wheel assembly with a borescope revealed fractured and separated anti-rotation lugs.”

It also added,

“The examination of the nose landing gear assembly revealed that two of the four anti-rotation lugs on the upper support assembly have fractured and separated from the upper support assembly. The other two lugs contained cracks.”

Following the incident, Airbus issued an Operations Engineering Bulletin. This technical information provided a procedure for the flight crew to reset in flight the Brake Steering Control Unit which controls the nose landing gear.

Have you heard of JetBlue’s nose gear incident before? What else do you know? Let us know in the comments below. 

Source : Simple Flying More   

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