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Grounded by the virus: McGhee Tyson may seem more like a parking lot than an airport

With air travel reduced by coronavirus concerns, dozens of planes are sitting at the airport.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — McGhee Tyson Airport is home these days to dozens of vacant airplanes.

The airport has accommodated as many as 58 at a time amid the sharp reduction in air travel because of coronavirus concerns.

TYS, as it's known, is serving as a temporary home where airlines can have their fleet worked on while the slowdown is in place.

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Passersby on Alcoa Highway may see planes taking off and then coming back and landing, said spokeswoman Becky Huckaby.

"But that is actually just them moving the aircraft around so that they can get them in line to navigate them over to the maintenance facilities for maintenance," Huckaby said.

Delta, American and Allegiant are leading carriers that serve the airport. Daily departures to main hubs like Atlanta and Charlotte have been reduced for the time being.