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International flights - return to service


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I was talking with another BM earlier this evening, and this topic came up; I realize that I don't know as much about it as I'd like to. Perhaps there are some of you that are qualified to educate me and others . . .  .


Like any other complicated machine, planes need to be "serviced". There will be set service intervals that I believe ( please correct me if I'm wrong ) are based upon a number of factors, including

  • Days since last service
  • Number of Cycles ( a Take-off and landing = a cycle ) since last service
  • Hours in flight since last service

So, based upon the curtailment of International air travel in mid - March, nearly 11 weeks ( 75 'ish days ) ago, and the current suggestion that "normality" ( whatever the hell that will turn out to be ) might return at the beginning of July, many ( most ? ) of the aircraft will have been "parked" for more than 100 days, how onerous will the servicing requirements be, to enable them to return to service ?

Maintenance staff & facilities.

Most of us have seen images of non-active airfields, stuffed to the gills with stored planes. How many of these have the maintenance staff and facilities to undertake the "return to service" maintenance tasks that are likely to be required ?

Flight crew.

I believe pilots have a legislated limit as to how many hours they can work in a day, in a week and in a month. But is there a minimum limit of hours within a set period, that they need Log, to be considered "current" ?

If there is a minimum limit, what is it ? If it is exceeded, is there a requirement to "refresh" or would they need "re-qualify" ?

Presumably, "refreshment" or "re-qualification" would take place in a flight simulator ( ? ) how many flight simulators are available and how many pilots a day could be processed in one such unit ?

Return to service.


Based upon the answers to the foregoing, together with any other salient facts, how long will it take for international air travel to return to, lets say, 20% of the capacity that was available in January of this year ? Is 20% capacity sufficient to enable an effective return to service ? I presume there is a "critical mass" that need be achieved ?


Thanks in anticipation of informed answers


( a retired Marine & Transport Engineer )

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