Home Airlines Delta Reveals Early Retirement Dates Of MD-88 & MD-90 Fleets

Delta Reveals Early Retirement Dates Of MD-88 & MD-90 Fleets

by SharonKurheg

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


George April 30, 2020 - 2:20 pm

Flew a Delta MD-88 two days ago. Great ride.

I wonder if airlines will regret all this when travel comes back and before they can get brand new planes?

DT April 30, 2020 - 2:43 pm

Less spare parts inventory too; standardizing on few types of planes.

jon April 30, 2020 - 8:25 pm

Airlines can NOT only save on parts inventory, but also on training with fewer types of planes to train on. A nice thing about the DC-9, MD-80s, and the MD-90s, is on one side of the aisle there are only two seats, where on the B-737s and A-318/319/320/321s have three seats on both sides of the aisle. Now only the B-717s and the A-220s will have two seats on one side of the aisle, other than the wide body aircraft with two aisles, or regional jets. It is important which aircraft can save money. Now the question is to use or NOT use leased aircraft, which cost money until their lease run out? Thank you.


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