Inside Brussels Airlines: how an airline prepares its fleet for hibernation

Inside Brussels Airlines: how an airline prepares its fleet for hibernation

photo and video report

As a consequence of the coronavirus crisis, we had to temporarily suspend all of our flights. Except for a few aircraft that are on standby to bring stranded Belgians home, our entire fleet is parked and stored at Brussels Airport.

If you think this is a simple task, just like parking a car, you should guess again. Storing an Airbus A330 takes about 400 man hours, as our Maintenance & Engineering teams meticulously follow Airbus manufacturer instructions to make sure that our birds are stored safely. This means that all windows are taped to prevent sunlight from decolouring the interior, landing gears and engines are thoroughly packed so that birds cannot nest in them and to prevent corrosion. All our seats are covered as well, to keep them crisp and clean.

All this creates an unusual, but spectacular sight at Brussels Airport. As an airport is not made to park so many aircraft at the same time, a taxiway even had to be cleared.

One might think that after parking and locking an aircraft, there’s nothing left to do but wait until it can take off again. But in reality, the Brussels Airlines Maintenance & Engineering teams are kept quite busy in order to keep the fleet in tip-top shape. Every day, for example, the wheels have to be turned just slightly, to make sure they don’t get worn out under the weight of the aircraft and every week, inspections and tests need to be performed. 30 Maintenance & Engineering colleagues still work full-time to perform all these tasks. They make sure that our fleet is ready to welcome our guests on board once we’re able to take off again.

This series of photos shows the rare sights the Brussels Airlines fleet at the airport. You can download and use the pictures with copyright Brussels Airlines.

Footage of the parking and storage process can be downloaded here (please use Copyright Brussels Airlines)

Preview of the footage:

 

 

About Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines is Belgium's national airline, connecting the capital of Europe to more than 70 destinations, whereof 15 in Africa, the continent that Brussels Airlines carries closes to its heart. Moreover, Brussels Airlines offers 54 destinations in Europe and 2 in North America. The company employs 3,300 employees and operates 38 aircraft.

In view of the global coronavirus pandemic, Brussels Airlines has committed itself to the strictest health safety measures in aviation worldwide, following the recommendations of EASA (European Air Safety Agency). Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, the Belgian airline operates an adapted flight schedule that is based on market demand and that takes into account the travel restrictions of the different authorities.

Thanks to its no-compromise positioning, Brussels Airlines combines competitive all-flexible fares with  the highest service quality. With yearly changing Belgian Star Chefs, its wide offer of Belgian food and drinks and the six Belgian Icons, Brussels Airlines is acting as a real ambassador of its country, bringing the world to Belgium and the best of Belgium to the world.

Creating over 40.000 direct and indirect jobs, Brussels Airlines plays an important role in the Belgian economy and is part of Belgium's second largest economic engine: its hub at Brussels Airport. In 2019, the airline transported over 10 million passengers to, from and via Brussels Airport.

Brussels Airlines offers cargo capacity on all its flights, commercialized by Lufthansa Cargo. The airline also handles the daily maintenance of its aircraft fleet.

Brussels Airlines is one of the four Lufthansa Group network airlines (Austrian, Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa and Swiss) and member of Star Alliance. The company was founded in 2002 and is 100% owned by Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

More information on brusselsairlines.com 

Brussels Airlines
b.house
Zone General Aviation - Airport Building 26
1831 Diegem