Robert Alexander | Getty Pictures
Its remaining MD-88s — and a quieter, youthful mannequin, the MD-90 — are headed to an early retirement due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Delta anticipated to retire the twin-engine MD-88s on the finish of this yr and the MD-90s by the top of 2022, however a pointy drop in journey demand has prompted it to idle greater than 600 planes and retire a few of its older jets early. Delta can also be planning to retire its Boeing 777 fleet by the top of the yr.
Delta is the final U.S. airline to function the planes after American Airlines retired its MD-80 fleet in September. The retirement additionally ends the chapter of the McDonnell Douglas identify, the corporate that Boeing acquired in 1997. The planes’ had been primarily based on a jet whose historical past stretches again to the 1960s, the DC-9.
The ultimate scheduled passenger flights, DL88 and DL90, depart from Washington Dulles Worldwide Airport and Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, respectively to Delta’s house and hub Atlanta. After that they are going to be parked in Blytheville, Ark.
The MD-88s, first delivered to the service in 1987, had been so key to Delta’s community that they had been used on half of the flights at its Atlanta hub in 2014.
However the planes weren’t essentially a welcome arrival. When Delta eliminated them from its LaGuardia service in March 2017 Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) stated: “We welcome Delta Air Traces’ optimistic and responsive determination to retire these plane, which can present some much-needed noise aid to all close by neighborhoods.”
Due to the coronavirus, Delta is forgoing the same old fanfare of an plane retirement, however a spokesman stated dozens aviation lovers purchased tickets for the ultimate flights.
Tami Chappell | Reuters