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Reach for the ground

Blog | By James Fletcher | Jun 08, 2020

LaGuardia (LGA) is the smaller of New York's two commercial airports. I took this photo some months ago when pilots would routinely announce “We’re 27 for take off” to heaving sighs from passengers. These days air travel is down 95%, masks are mandatory for the duration of flight, and airlines are only selling a fraction of usual capacity. Many planes are very empty. As airlines only have hangar space for maintenance, grounded fleets have been parked in the deserts of Arizona and Nevada in ‘boneyards’ where thousands of planes dating back to WW2 are stored in the non-corroding climate for parts and other eventualities. Many older planes are expected to be retired following COVID.