Home Airline News Preparing Etihad’s grounded fleet to fly again

Preparing Etihad’s grounded fleet to fly again

by Matt Falcus

Like many of the world’s airlines, Etihad Airways has chosen to ground most of its aircraft fleet during the current Covid-19 outbreak.

With air travel severely hampered by the spread of the virus and lockdowns in most countries, Etihad’s passenger aircraft fleet is largely parked up at its Abu Dhabi base, with only a few aircraft still operating essential routes (plus its freighter aircraft, which are still active).

Etihad Airways has released this interesting video which explains how the fleet are maintained and looked after while in parked mode, and what ground crews are doing to make sure they’re in the best condition and ready to fly again once restrictions are lifted.

Tasks include:

  • Covering up engines and intakes to protect from the environment
  • Disconnecting batteries to keep the systems from running out of power
  • Powering up onboard systems and checking flight controls
  • Replacing passenger headrests and shampooing carpets
  • Advance scheduled maintenance checks, taking opportunity of aircraft being out of service

Gary Byrne, Head of Technical Operations, said the team are working around the clock. He added: “When our fleet goes back into service, it will be like stepping on board a brand new aircraft.”

Subject to UAE government imposed travel restrictions being lifted on passenger travel, Etihad plans to operate a reduced network of scheduled passenger services from 1 May to 30 June, with the aim of gradually returning to a fuller schedule as and when the global situation improves.


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