Airline Planes Out of Storage for Post Covid Travel Rebound : The Indicator from Planet Money People are flying again. But so many airplanes are still parked in storage. Getting them in the air again isn't always so simple.
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It’s Time To Fly

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It's Time To Fly

It's Time To Fly

It’s Time To Fly

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/988780410/988875487" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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David Ryder/Getty Images
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
David Ryder/Getty Images

We get the sense that there are a lot of people fantasizing about flights, about doing something that used to be pretty routine. Airlines are betting that there's a lot of pent up demand: people are getting bored, itching to for a vacation, and the CDC says that if you've been vaccinated, it's safe to travel domestically.

So airlines are getting ready. They're changing their schedules and adding flights. They're making sure they have enough planes to keep up with demand. Or trying anyway. Airlines made a decision during the pandemic to put thousands and thousands of airplanes in storage. At the peak of the pandemic, there were nearly 17,000 planes in storage! That's about eight times as many planes as are usually in storage.

It's time to get most of those planes back online and quickly. The problem is it's not exactly a quick process. On The Indicator, we find out what it takes to bring an airplane out of storage and back online, and the economic thinking of when it's worth it.

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