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Spanish ‘Ghost Airport’ Reinvents Itself as Park for Idle Jets

  • Covid-19 pandemic led to increase in aircraft storage demand
  • Hubs are expanding maintenance facilities, parking lots
Aircraft parked at Ciudad Real airport, as 31% of global passenger fleet sits idle.
Aircraft parked at Ciudad Real airport, as 31% of global passenger fleet sits idle.

Photographer: Paul Hanna/Bloomberg

Spain’s Ciudad Real airport had become almost obsolete before the Covid-19 outbreak, operating mainly as a drop-off point for hunting enthusiasts keen to visit the region’s renowned country estates.

The arrival of the coronavirus ended even that trickle of demand, tearing up the growth plans of the owner, CR International Airport SL. But rather than face the prospect of collapse, the company reinvented the hub as a home for grounded planes, with capacity to store as many as 300 through a series of renovation projects.