SWISS Returns Last of Its Stored Aircraft to Service

SWISS has brought back the last of its A320 aircraft to service, which was stored in Amman, Jordan, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.



December 21, 2023

DALLAS — SWISS International Air Lines (LX) has brought back the last of its Airbus A320 aircraft to service, which was stored in Amman, Jordan, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This marks the complete restoration of LX’s fleet to full operational capacity.

The airline stored 25 aircraft in Amman amid the COVID-19 pandemic travel decline. Photo: Fabrizio Spicuglia/Airways

Aircraft Storage Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant disruption, leading LX, like many other airlines, to drastically reduce its flight operations as travel demand plummeted. In response to the situation, LX decided to store 25 aircraft in the Jordanian desert, leveraging its hot and arid climate to safeguard aircraft against the potential rusting of their metal components.

The aircraft were placed in a long-term storage program overseen by the carrier’s maintenance staff and a local maintenance, repair, and overhaul service provider. According to LX, the aircraft were subjected to regular inspections, hydraulic system flushes, and engine function checks.

“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,” said Claus Bauer, Head of Technical Fleet Management at LX. “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.”

LX anticipates the addition of five Airbus A350s to its expanding fleet. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways

Current Active Fleet

According to Cirium Diio data for December 2023, the Swiss flag carrier is operating 61 narrowbody and 80 widebody aircraft. Its narrowbody active fleet consists of 45 A220s, 19 A320s, and 16 Embraer E-Jets. Its widebody active fleet includes 14 A330s, four A340s, and 11 Boeing 777-300ERs. Additionally, LX has five A350-900s and one Boeing 777-300ER slated for delivery.

Furthermore, as travel demand gradually rebounded, several airlines swiftly returned their aircraft into service; however, some are still in storage programs. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), as of March 2023, an estimated 6,300 aircraft remain in storage globally, marking approximately an 83% increase compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Featured image: SWISS International Air Lines, Photo: Adrian Nowakowski/Airways