CLEVELAND — The demand for air travel has taken a nosedive across the country, forcing airlines to take hundreds of planes out of service during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The view from AirTracker 5 on Monday showed dozens of United planes parked across the airfield at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport as demand remains low.
A spokesperson from United released the following statement:
"We currently anticipate parking approximately 400 aircraft because of the drawdown of our capacity. The majority will be stored at our hubs (EWR, IAD, ORD, DEN, IAH, SFO, LAX) and at non-hub locations where United has maintenance facilities, such as CLE and MCO. A smaller portion of the fleet will be stored in offsite facilities in Goodyear, Arizona and Roswell, New Mexico. United’s Operations teams continue to focus on safety, compliance and on maintaining our aircraft to the highest standards."
The airline industry has been hit hard as state leaders like Gov. Mike DeWine urge Ohioans to limit their travel plans in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“I’ve been very clear. I don’t think passengers should be flying,” DeWine said last week during a briefing.
Two of the world’s largest carriers, Delta and American Airlines, have announced plans to ground more than 1,00 planes combined, according to an article from Los Angeles Times.
According to DeWine, the only flights that should be occurring during his order are for freight shipments.
“We still need freight. We have to have freight coming in. A lot of things come in, in regard to medical supplies,” the governor said. “I don’t think anybody should be flying today.”
Parking lots were empty while rental lots overflowed with vehicles.
During the one-hour flight time over Cleveland Hopkins, air traffic controllers confirmed there were only four departures during that time.