Hundreds of jets still parked in deserts despite increase in US air travel

National News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Despite an uptick in air travel, many passenger jets are still sitting the desert waiting to take the skies again.

A report from just two weeks ago showed hundreds of planes still parked in the desert at the Pinal Air Park north of Tucson, Arizona, according to KJZZ.

That is just one location where airline keep dormant jets — many airlines have their own storage spots.

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During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic about a year ago, there were only about 122,000 air travelers in a day. Sunday, the number exceeded 1.4 million — the highest since the pandemic began.

But, it’s still down from past highs. And, airlines have to put extra planes somewhere. The dry deserts are a place where planes can be safely stored without rusting while demand increases.

Jim Petty, the Pinal Air Park director, said there were more than 400 planes parked there. But, there have been “a lot of reactivations,” he told KJZZ.

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