Another post-pandemic milestone has been reached, with SWISS returning the last of its stored aircraft into service.
The Lufthansa Group carrier placed a total of 25 aircraft into long term storage following the onset of Covid-19, and its A320 (registration HB-IJO) has spent some three years in Amman.
The stored aircraft represented a significant proportion of SWISS’ fleet – the airline currently operates just under 90 aircraft. The majority of these are Airbus planes, although the carrier does have a fleet of 12 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
All of SWISS’ stored aircraft were subjected to regular inspections of their installed equipment, as well as regular flushing of the hydraulic systems and engine function checks.
The airline highlighted that “Jordan’s hot and arid climate is especially conducive to the long-term storage of aircraft, as the low humidity provides optimum protection against any rusting of their metal components”.
Following a final inspection the A320 was flown back to Zurich after 1,180 days in the desert. The aircraft in question is one of SWISS’ longest-serving, having performed some 63,596 flight hours since it was built in 1997.
Commenting on the news Claus Bauer, SWISS head of technical fleet management, said: “We are delighted to welcome the last of our Jordan-stored aircraft back to our flight operations and return our working fleet to full size.
“Our specialists have made huge efforts over the last few months to ensure that every one of our stored aircraft was brought back to Zurich in faultless technical condition. It’s been a massive undertaking for everybody involved in which every detail counts.”
Airlines have been steadily returning their aircraft from storage as demand for flights has increased over the last 12 months.
Fellow group carrier Lufthansa began bringing its A380 aircraft our of storage earlier this year, with a total of eight superjumbos set to operate from the airline’s Munich hub by 2025.