In its ongoing efforts to cut costs, Delta had already announced it would retire their MD-88 and MD-90 aircraft earlier than previously planned. They will now be retired in June 2020.
As of February 2020, before the COVID-19 crisis forced cuts of so many flights, there were still 47 MD-88s and 29 MD-90s in operation.
In light of challenges caused by the coronavirus crisis, Delta CEO Ed Bastian had said last month the airline was going to accelerate the retirements of some of their older fleet. This would include, among others, their MD-88s and MD-90s.
The MD-88s are Delta’s oldest aircraft, with an average age of about 29 years. The MD-90 is the company’s third-oldest style of aircraft, averaging roughly 23 years old. With age comes more need for repairs, which means more maintenance costs. Both aircraft also have low fuel efficiency in comparison to the younger planes in Delta’s fleet.
The airline had originally planned to retire their MD-88s by the end of this year and their MD-90s by 2022.
Delta says it’s continuing to, “evaluate its broader fleet plan and will consider additional aircraft retirements to focus on a modern, more simplified fleet going forward.”
*** Feature Photo (cropped): Andrew Thomas/flickr
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary