If you are a fan of the Boeing 767, this video might make you a bit sad.
Qantas Airways is in the process of retiring their final 767-300ERs and the TV show 60 Minutes produced a story following VH-OGG from Australia over to Victorville Airport (VCV), home of probably the most famous airliner graveyard. Many times the main-stream media drops the ball when it comes to stories like this, but I have to admit that they did a pretty darn good job!
VH-OGG first flew at Paine Field on November 27, 1990. It was delivered to Qantas on December 12th of the same year and served with the airline for its entire life — up until now. The aircraft even sported a special Planes livery from Disney on the fuselage for a while.
Boeing 747's at an airline graveyard
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.
Source: AP Image: AP