Brussels Airlines prepares fleet for hibernation

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Brussels Airlines had to temporarily suspend all of its flights, just like many other airlines, as a consequence of the coronavirus crisis. Except for a few aircraft that are on standby to bring stranded Belgians home. Brussels' entire fleet is parked and stored at Brussels Airport.

The airlines, discussing the tedious task of parking the aircraft, explained that to park an Airbus A330 it takes about 400 man hours, as Brussels maintenance and engineering teams meticulously follow Airbus manufacturer instructions to make sure that the birds are stored safely. This means that all windows are taped to prevent sunlight from de-colouring the interior, landing gears and engines are thoroughly packed so that birds cannot nest in them and to prevent corrosion. All the seats are covered as well, to keep them crisp and clean.

Brussels’ Maintenance and Engineering staff preparing the aircraft for staying landed.Brussels’ Maintenance and Engineering staff preparing the aircraft for staying landed.
Brussels’ Maintenance and Engineering staff preparing the aircraft for staying landed.Brussels’ Maintenance and Engineering staff preparing the aircraft for staying landed.

Brussels' Maintenance and Engineering staff preparing the aircraft for staying landed.

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.

Even after the parking of the aircraft is done, Brussels Airlines maintenance and 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 and engineering staff still work full-time to perform all these tasks. They make sure that the Brussels fleet is ready to welcome its guests on board once we’re able to take off again.

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