Delta Air Lines accelerates the withdrawal of McDonnell Douglas aircraft
On July 12, at a press conference, Delta Air Lines officials announced that the recall of McDonnell Douglas MD-88 / MD-90 aircraft will be accelerated. The latter will leave the Delta fleet in 2022.
Delta currently has 74 x MD-88 and 34 x MD-90 in service. The most powerful MD in the Delta fleet was delivered to 1987, and the "youngest" was delivered to 1993. Delta is the last air carrier in the world, which still has the MD-90 in operational service.
Delta Air Lines is retiring McDonnell Douglas aircraft
But the McDonnell Douglas aircraft fleet was much larger in the Delta. In the past, the American carrier also had the MD-82, MD-83 and even the MD-87, but all of these were withdrawn from the operational service.
Delta has flown these planes as far as they can. They were used on domestic flights, departing from Hartsfield-Jackson, Atlanta. Delta, one of the largest air carriers in the world, is recognized for the age of the airplanes, the fleet average being 15 years.
Coincidentally or not, the decision to accelerate the recall of MD aircraft comes after pictures of the damaged engine of a Delta MD-88 appeared.
Knowing that these aircraft are used on domestic, short and medium flights, what aircraft will be replaced? If we look at the order list, Delta Air Lines has the A220-100 / A220-300 models; Airbus A321ceo and A321neo. It is likely that some of the routes will also be taken by Boeing 737 aircraft already in the fleet.
Even if there will not be the same number of seats available, the new planes have smaller capacities than the MDs, but it will be an increase in comfort, reliability and profitability.
And American Airlines also decided to withdraw MD aircraft from the fleet. The last MD-80 aircraft flights will be operated on the days of 3 and 4 September 2019.