Etihad using downtime to refresh cabin interiors

13 Apr 2020 by Mark Caswell
Employee working on Etihad aircraft seat

Etihad Airways has released a video detailing the work being carried out to park, maintain and refresh its fleet of aircraft.

The carrier said that on a typical day Etihad operates over 200 flights, and while cargo and rescue flights continue to operate, the vast majority of the airline’s fleet has been parked due to the coronavirus crisis.

Similar to the work shown in this recent video by Brussels Airlines, Etihad is going to great lengths to protect its aircraft while they are grounded, as Gary Byrne, head of technical operations, explains:

“There’s a lot of things we have to do – we have to cover the engine intake and exhaust to protect internal workings from the environment such as the sand and dust. Sensors all have to be blocked, and lots of other items [have to be maintained] including disconnecting batteries to preserve the aircraft.”

“We will be running engines, powering up the aircraft, checking the flights controls while these aircraft are in the parking mode.”

The carrier is using the opportunity provided by unscheduled aircraft downtime to bring forward heavy maintenance checks, and is also carrying out a fleet-wide cabin refresh, with all seats being checked individually.

Byrne said that so far 10,000 seat and backrest covers have been replaced, and all carpets are being shampooed and washed, with around 200 people per shift working on the refresh programme.

“We’re working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, [so that] when our aircraft go back into service, for the passenger it will be like getting onto a brand new aircraft,” said Byrne.

“Once the world starts returning to normal, we will be ready.”

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