The Israel Airports Authority seeks to turn Ramon Airport near Eilat into a parking space for aircraft of overseas airlines.
The problem that the aviation industry is currently having to cope with is finding places to park more than 7,500 grounded aircraft, which is most of the global passenger aircraft fleet of about 8,800 aircraft. Among the aircraft parked around the world are 383 Boeing 737 Max planes, which have been grounded since March 2019 following two fatal crashes involving aircraft of this model.
At some airports, among them Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris and Hartsfield Jackson Airport in Atlanta, runways have been converted to parking space for unused aircraft, as have abandoned airports, with airlines trying to find the cheapest places to park their fleets at a time when they are generating no revenue.
The Israel Airports Authority has spotted the opportunity, and Ramon Airport will be used to park grounded aircraft. Only three Israir flights daily are currently using the airport, which has space for 100 parked aircraft. The Authority has approached European airlines offering them cheaper rates than they will find in Europe, plus the advantage of a desert climate, which prevents corrosion. Two airlines have expressed interest, but the Airports Authority is not disclosing their identities at this stage. The two airlines are expected to start sending aircraft to Israel for storage as early as next week.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 31, 2020
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