As European skies are a lot emptier in 2020, and the big commercial airports even more so, many people wonder where airlines are storing their aircraft during the pandemic. The (only at first sight) surprising answer is: in Teruel, Aragón.
Teruel airport, dedicated exclusively to MRO and other industrial activities, has been reuniting the biggest number of grounded planes in Europe for the last months. More than 130 airplanes, from the smaller Boeing 737 to a dozen impressive A-380, are sitting in the Teruel plains like a group of big white birds patiently waiting for their journey to continue.
The company behind this success story is Tarmac Aragón, an Airbus subsidiary that has been operating here since 2012. Tarmac provides storage, maintenance and recycling services for aircraft, a business that requires high precision, fast logistics – a grounded airplane is a costly issue for its owner – and sustainability. In the long files of planes parked at LETL airport, you can see the logos of some of the world’s biggest airlines, who trust in Tarmac to maintain their airplanes in perfect conditions. Some of the aircraft will be recycled by Tarmac, dismantling the machines piece by piece as most parts can be reused.
The dry climate of the Teruel region, with ist altitude of more than 1.000 meters above sea level, is perfect for the storage of aircraft. The strategic decision of the Government of Aragon to install an industrial airport here has brought, through Tarmac and other companies based at the airport, over 400 new jobs to the area.