A new survey finds that 2,300 planes – 11% of the world’s total – are now parked in storage. The industry hasn’t hit the lows of 2001, when 13% of all airplanes were placed in storage, but it’s pretty significant. This may appear to be a bad sign, but what it really shows is that airlines actually have some flexibility with their fixed costs, and that they’re doing a pretty good job of matching capacity with demand. (Hotels, which cannot park their buildings in the desert, are in deeper trouble than the airlines right now).
In case you were wondering, US airlines account ffor about 1/3 of those planes, with 800 parked. On the flip side, Emirates plans to grow capacity by 14% this year (though I disagree with Cranky’s suggestion that this will result in lower fares on the airline – they’ve done a great job of keeping yields high. Plus, I’m not sure how many people will jump on cheaper flights from Dubai to Khartoum).