Delta Air Lines intends to prematurely withdraw from the fleet all McDonnell Douglas MD-88 and MD-90 aircraft in June 2020.
After that, there will not be a single airline in the United States that would use this family of airliners on regular flights.
“The reason for the earlier retirement of these types of aircraft was the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why we reduced the carrying capacity throughout the network. As a result, the number of flying aircraft fell by about half, and more than 600 aircraft have been parked on the ground in the last 2 months, ”the airline said.
Initial plans provided that the 149-seater MD-88s would go on vacation at the end of 2020, while the 158-seater MD-90s would go on holiday in 2022.
MD-88 and MD-90 were chosen for withdrawal from the fleet because these airliners are the oldest in the fleet and have lower fuel efficiency compared to other aircraft.
The average age of 47 MD-88 in the Delta Air Lines park is about 30 years, 29 MD-90 – about 20 years.
The airline called the airliners “workhorses” who worked on domestic flights to the United States. The first MD-88 entered its fleet in 1987, the last in 1993. Deliveries of the MD-90 to the Delta Air Lines, which became the starting customer of this extended modification, started in 1995.
Because of their abbreviation, both airliners received the nickname Mad Dog – “mad dog”. A feature of this type was the layout of the cabin, which provided for the placement of 5 seats in a row in the economy class according to the 2 + 3 scheme.