Images captured from the air reveal massive airfields across the United States, occupied with idle commercial

Photographer Jassen Todorov traveled around the United States to capture the incredible sight of grounded planes lined up in airfields, showcasing the stark impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the aviation industry. His stunning aerial images reveal billions of dollars worth of disused aircraft stored in rows, including passenger jets and military craft.

Key Observations:

  1. Pandemic Impact on Aviation:
    • The aviation industry has been severely hit by COVID-19, leading to a dramatic decrease in air travel.
    • Only 1.8 billion passengers took flights last year, compared to around 4.5 billion the previous year.
  2. Visual Documentation:
    • Todorov’s photos highlight the scale of grounded planes, with thousands parked on the ground at various locations.
    • Major storage sites include the 309th Maintenance and Regeneration Group in Arizona, Southern California Logistics Airport, San Bernardino, Mojave airports in California, and Pinal County Airpark in Arizona.
  3. Economic Strain:
    • The decrease in passenger numbers has resulted in the lowest levels since 2003, with the average distance traveled by passengers also plummeting to its lowest since 1999.
    • The global aviation industry lost an estimated $370 billion due to the pandemic.
  4. Specific Airline Impacts:
    • Spirit Airlines, for example, has seen its business significantly decline, with many of its yellow-liveried planes parked in Arizona.
    • American Eagle, the regional branch of American Airlines, also has numerous aircraft stored in Arizona.
  5. Government Intervention:
    • The US government is considering a rescue package for airlines, potentially offering $14 billion in payroll support through September of this year.
    • This support aims to help airlines survive as they face the worst crisis in the industry’s history.


The imagery captured by Jassen Todorov brings into sharp focus the struggles of the aviation industry amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The grounded aircraft symbolize the drastic reduction in travel demand and the subsequent economic strain on airlines. The ongoing crisis has led to a significant number of planes gathering dust in airfields across the US, with many airlines fighting for survival and looking to government support to navigate these challenging times.

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