Flights to Nowhere

The COVID-19 pandemic has all but halted air travel in the United States. Airlines have parked hundreds of planes as bookings have fallen by more than 90 percent since March.

Industry observers and even some airline executives have predicted the road to recovery will be long and slow. Some predict once the pandemic has passed that airlines will be smaller and employ fewer people.

How long it will take for air travel to recover remains to be seen, but following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, it took two years before air travel rebounded to what it was before the attacks.

In the meantime scenes such as these shown here at Cleveland Hopkins Airport of parked planes with nowhere to fly will be common.

United Airlines has a maintenance base in Cleveland and thus is using Hopkins to store jets removed from active service.

Todd Dillon made these images last Sunday. He spotted the jets on Saturday while traveling to the unofficial Akron Railroad Club Dave McKay Day outing in Berea and returned the next day to document them.

Most of these planes are parked near the dormant Concourse D at Hopkins, which has been out of service since United closed its Cleveland hub in 2014.

Concourse D had largely been used for United Express flights using regional jet equipment.

Most of the jets visible in these images are Boeing 737 aircraft but a host of Embraer regional jets can be seen lined up beyond the nose of the 737 in the foreground.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

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