American Airlines to Retire its MD-80s in 2019


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American Airlines is poised to retire its remaining forty-five McDonnell Douglas MD-80s by the end of 2019, the carrier has announced.

The airline plans to retire nineteen MD-80s by the end of 2018 and the remaining twenty-six in 2019. As previously reported, in tandem to the model’s retirement, American Airlines will close its dedicated-MD-80 crew base at St. Louis Lambert Int’l in September 2018.

The aging regional twin-jets will be replaced by more modern and fuel-efficient B737-800s and B737 MAX 8s.

According to the ch-aviation fleet database, American Airlines currently uses nine MD-82s and thirty-six MD-83s. All aircraft are powered by Pratt & Whitney PWJT8Ds and seat up to 140 passengers. The average age of the MD-82s is 28.4 years, with the three oldest jets being older than 30 years of age, while the MD-83s are slightly younger at an average age of 19.5 years.

According to the ch-aviation capacity module, American Airlines offers 157,500 seats weekly on its fleet of MD-80s, mostly out of Dallas/Fort Worth and Chicago O’Hare. At their peak in 2001, after the TWA – Trans World Airlines take-over, the carrier had 362 MD-80s in its fleet. American Airlines remains the second-largest user of MD-80s globally after Delta Air Lines which currently operates 111 MD-88s and sixty-one extended MD-90s.

Among the airlines which have retired their MD-80s in recent years are Alitalia (in 2012), SAS Scandinavian Airlines (in 2013) and Iberia (in 2009).