Pittsburgh International Filling Up With Passenger-Less Planes
With the industry nearly grounded, airlines are choosing Pittsburgh for a place to park their idle airplanes.
One by one they land, but when they will take off again is anyone’s guess. In the last week, Pittsburgh International Airport has seen an increase of incoming aircraft carrying few, if any, passengers.
American Airlines has parked dozens of its aircraft on the airport’s spacious tarmacs and taxiways. Christina Cassotis, CEO of the Allegheny County Airport Authority, tells the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Pittsburgh International has enough room for “well over 100” planes.
Pittsburgh has been a popular alternative destination when bad weather forces flights to reroute. In addition to plenty of space, the airport is ideally located between hubs on the East Coast and in the Midwest.
While Pittsburgh is not a hub for American, the airline does operate a maintenance base here.
“Currently, we are parking aircraft with some of our maintenance bases, including Pittsburgh, Tulsa and Dallas, as well as with long established vendors,” airline spokeswoman Linda Brock said in a statement.
The airport gets minimal revenue for parking the planes, but Cassotis says “it does not come close” to offsetting the loss of regular traffic due to the pandemic.