Your idea that unmaintend equipment costs nothing is also unrealistic. The major industry included in the \$2T bailout/stimulus is the airline industry. Planes left on the ground still require maintenance or preparation for longer-term mothballing.
Because of the steep drop in demand for air travel and flight restrictions to international destinations, Delta and American Airlines, two of the world’s largest carriers, have announced plans to ground more than 1,000 planes combined. Southwest Airlines said it parked two dozen 737-700 planes over the weekend. [...]
The biggest aircraft storage operations are in desert facilities in places such as Victorville, Roswell, N.M., and Tucson, where humidity is low and the runways and taxiways are long enough to accommodate any size of commercial plane.
European carriers may not even have such desert conditions available to them. But even in the nice desert conditions:
Grounding a 130,000-pound plane involves more than just a big stretch of pavement.
Aircraft storage facilities typically charge a base rate simply for parking a plane. The biggest expense is the cost of the aircraft services to keep the plane maintained and ready to return to operation.
In addition to the cost of parking, a facility may charge maintenance costs that begin at about $2,000 per plane a month, depending on the services required, according to published reports.
A commercial passenger plane can’t sit indefinitely on a desert tarmac if the airline hopes to quickly return the aircraft to service, said Henry Harteveldt, an airline analyst with Atmosphere Research Group.
“It’s a lot more involved,” he said. “It’s a lot more than simply parking your car on a lot when you go on a trip.”
The amount and type of maintenance that must be done to an idle plane depends on how soon the airline hopes to return the aircraft to operation, Harteveldt said.
An aircraft’s avionics, hydraulics, electronics and other operating systems must be regularly checked and tested. Maintenance manuals typically spell out how often such services must be performed.
If a plane is going to be stored for several months, the aircraft will be put into an “airplane coma,” which involves draining or replacing all liquids and sealing the doors and the engines, Harteveldt said.
And doing that is not free of costs either.