As airlines cut flights, that means they don’t have the need for as many planes. Some of those planes are still very airworthy and it is not time for them to be destroyed. A large number of these planes end up in one of a few desert holding yards (not graveyards, since some of them “come back to life”).
About 1,700 planes over the past few years have been taken out of service due to lower demand and older age. According to Ascent Worldwide, plane storage has increased 29% in the past year to over 2,300.
For planes that are still airworthy and hopefully will fly again one day, it can be quite costly to keep them passing their mandated maintenance. Storing a Boeing 747 with hopes of flying again can run about $60,000.00 per year. Yes, that is pricey, but much cheaper than having to buy another 747 in a few years if ticket sales go up again.
Visiting one of these desert parking lots can be very exciting and sad for an airline enthusiast.