[Coronavirus] Delta Air Lines pilot shares his chilling experience flying one of his airline’s jets to storage


Last Monday (23 March), Delta Air Lines co-pilot Chris Dennis was assigned to operate an Airbus A321 to Victorville, California, United States for long-term storage. “I had no idea what I would see or the emotions I would feel,” Chris wrote on his Facebook-feed (see at the bottom of the article). He also uploaded a few pictures of the huge amount of aircraft stored at the logistics airport: “Chilling, apocalyptic, surreal… all words that still don’t fit what is happening in the world. Each one of these aircraft represents hundreds of jobs, if not more.

The scene brought back memories to the terrorist attacks on 9/11 (2001): “For those airline folks who were around for 9/11, this feels even more real, more urgent. During 9/11 aircraft were stuck at airports around the country and the enemy was known. Now, they are all concentrated in huge lots and mothballed waiting for this battle to turn around against an enemy we can’t see or fight.

While we all are under 14 day quarantine and are sick of looking at our ceilings and walls, this is what is happening to the airline industry and other industries out there. It is horrifying. Please stay inside, social distance, and let this blow over quickly.

Just before closing the cockpit door of his Airbus A321, Chris left an emotional and hopeful  note for the next crew: “Hey pilots, it’s March 23 and we just arrived from MSP (editor: Minneapolis Airport). Very chilling to see so much of our fleet here in the dessert. If you are here to pick it up then the light must be at the end of the tunnel. Amazing how fast it changed. Have a safe flight bringing it out of storage!


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