• Joe Breitfeller

Inside the Complex and Laborious Process of Hibernating an Aircraft With Brussels Airlines

Lufthansa Group carrier Brussels Airlines detailed on Friday the complex and laborious process of hibernating a modern commercial aircraft. The airline states that in accordance with Airbus’ manufacturer standards, it takes up to 400 man hours to store an A330.

Stored Brussels Airlines Aircraft - Courtesy Brussels Airlines

With the grounding of substantial numbers (and in some cases all) of the aircraft in the fleets of global airlines, last Friday (April 10, 2020), Brussels Airlines detailed the complex and laborious process of properly ‘hibernating’ and aircraft for a prompt return to service. By now, we’re sure you have seen many photos of parked and stored aircraft, but here Brussels Airlines gives us a behind the scenes look at the painstaking work of an airline’s maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) and engineering teams as they prepare an aircraft for storage. According to Brussels Airlines, following Airbus’ manufacturer instructions, storing an Airbus A330 takes around 400 man hours of work. The video below (Copyright Brussels Airlines) shows in painstaking detail the efforts the Brussels Airlines’ team has undertaken to safely store their fleet.

Some of the details involved in safely storing a multi-million dollar aircraft include taping all windows to prevent the sunlight from discoloring the interior, the careful packing of engines and landing gears to prevent corrosion and the nesting of birds, and the covering of passenger seats to keep them crisp and clean. Unlike parking and locking a car, maintaining a stored aircraft takes a daily effort by an airline’s maintenance and engineering team. For example, each day the wheels must be turned slightly so they don’t get worn out under the static weight of the aircraft. Additionally, each week inspections and tests must be performed, which keep 30 Brussels Airlines Maintenance and Engineering team members working full-time.

We thank the entire Brussels Airlines team for the behind the scenes look at how the airline is preparing to return to service just as soon as it is safe for guests to travel again. Like you, we look forward to seeing your aircraft, as well as all Lufthansa Group aircraft, aloft soon.

Source: Brussels Airlines