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Delta Retires First MD-90 Ahead of Schedule

Delta has decided to retire their McDonnel Douglas aircraft early as Delta retires ship N902DA from service on the 23rd of June. Although there is no immediate action for the fleet of now 64 MD-90, Delta plans to do a three year drawdown on their 116 MD-88, which will be replaced by the massive order of 122 Airbus A321. More details in the ULR. ( More...

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Erik Bruner 8
I miss MD Aircraft - Boeing builds a great product, safe and reliable - but I worked for MD from 1979-1994 and truly miss seeing them in sky

I worked on both lines, first DC9 then moved to the DC10 line (1990) just before the line transitioned to MD11s.

Worked on each of first 100 MD11s - Not too much later Boeing Bought the company :-(
Aaron Harris 2
As a 19 year old guy getting ready for college to pursue the aviation mechanic field, I have to say it must been awesome working for such an extraordinary company back then. I hope to get my A&P license and work for Delta to get my hands on these new planes with the latest technology. I wished I was born back then when the MD11's were roaming the sky, I heard they were excellent passenger planes.
I'd give a fraction of my 401K to fly the greatest airplane, the 707...
canuck44 12
No Boeings on order once the 737-900 contract is complete. Delta management do not appear to be fans of Boeing as they gradually switch to Airbus and Bombardier. In part this is Boeing's fault in that they did not offer a replacement for either the 757 or the 717. Undoubtedly the filing of the trade complaint against the Bombardier-Delta sale was in part a slap against Delta and that was not lost on the airline management.
s2v8377 6
The A321 and 737 are both not a good replacement for the 757. Delta buys whatever they can get cheap. They must have got a better deal from Airbus on the A321.
Pat Tolaj 1
The A321LR, is almost a direct replacement to the 757. There won't be anything Boeing has in that market that'll beat it. I've said it many times, a 757 with upgraded engines, avionics and maybe even a new composite frame would have dominated the single aisle market.
SmokedChops 6
717 started as the MD-95. Agreed, very shortsighted to suspend that line, but it was in direct competition with the cash-cow 737.
Aaron Harris 3
I agree. I'm surprised that they aren't even convinced of the 737 MAX series though. But until then, Delta is slowly turning into a side stick giant.
Actually, you are mistaken on the replacement for the 757. The 787 was the replacement as it can serve on mid to long haul routes. They didn't offer a replacement for the 717 because they inherited that airplane (the DC-9/MD-80) when they absorbed McDonald-Douglas Commercial division. The 737 fills any need that the 717 did, hence no replacement. Just for clarity, I'm not a fan of the 737 as they are produced now. The individual airlines make it a traveling cattle car. Give me an A-320/321 anytime!
One of the nicest riding aircraft around - Going to miss them!
Aaron Harris 1
At least the MD-90 will still be around. I think Delta will keep them just for a bit longer.
Dan Mitzel 5
I wish they'd retire the d@mn CRJ-200s already...
Aaron Harris 2
Lol I agree. They are getting pretty old.
too bad-the MD 90 is a comfortable plane and the 321 is among the worst-no windows in economy comfort -as a milion miler on Delta I am becoming very unhappy
boughbw 3
What is the alternative? Airlines in the United States are a dismal lot.
blueashflyer 3
can't they fly it just two more hours to crack 32,000?
blueashflyer 2
58,000 cycles - that's a lot of half hour flights
Paul Smith 1
The hours are the end of year stats for this ac. I'm guessing that they flew it in 2017 too.
pblasman 3
My dad worked at Douglas for 45 years. He worked on a lot of commercial planes from DC-3's to MD-11's. Its sad when I see another bird that he worked on retire.
I almost always fly Delta and prefer the Boeing and MD aircraft. Most Delta flight in/out of ORF or MD88or MD90s.
FlyYX 2
Airbus aircraft don't seem to last as long as other manufacturers. When we got F9s equipment into Milwaukee one of the mechanics that came from den was telling me that they were really bad about corrosion around the galley and that they had to retire one of the A/C early because of it. Cheap to buy cheap to fly that's all that Airline cares about.
Perhaps one of the smoother flying aircraft out there, but they ar clearly showing their age. Delta does a good job keeping these birds flying. Cabin pressure is not as good as the newer aircraft out there, but it will have served its original purpose very well.
Ruger9X19 1
I have a question that is sort of related to this. I have heard some pretty low seniority pilots are becoming captains on Delta's MD's as most pilots aren't bidding for the available slots, What happens to these guys when the fleet is phased out? Do they drop back to first officers on other aircraft or do they become low seniority Captains on other aircraft? Just wondering how that side of the world operates.
They get whatever their seniority could hold, be it Admiral or Swabbie...
josh homer 1
So they do normal schedule bidding?
they are probably taking the job for the slight pay bump, as Captain of MD series may make more than a FO on a 37 or something. then once their MD C job is cut, they'll have to bump the lowest seniority. on any of their other rated aircraft. not sure what would happen if they aren't rated for additional aircraft
kyle estep 1
They will displace into whatever airplane seat and base they can hold. If they aren't staying on the same airplane and seat they will go to training. Most likely these super junior guys will end up back as first officers in bigger airplane such as the 75/76
Aaron Harris 1
My mistake on the last word of the sentence. URL.
Sorry to hear Delta is not going Boeing. We travel often all over the world for 4 to 6 months a year and I tell my wife who happens to be my personal travel arranger or agent that "IF ITS NOT BOEING WE ARE NOT GOING"
Hum, guess you don't fly everywhere you want to then.
Al Palmer 1
Good reply! I always try to remain unbiased - every aircraft type has its strong and weak points. It's all the matter of personal preference in the end, regardless of where it's manufactured..
Scott Campbell -3
From the back or front of the cabin - I always chose Airbus over Boeing flights domestically -
even Boeing pilots are transitioning to the Airbus's for a couple of rungs up the seniority list.
Not a fan of 37 800 or dreaded 900 - the 37 TEN !! we'll be the worst them all
boughbw 2
I suppose... what does this have to do with the MD-90 that was scrapped?
joel wiley 0
I wonder if they found an incipient overly expensive repair on the airframe.
Torsten Hoff 12
This is a 1994 airframe, so Delta is probably just trying to avoid the expense of a D maintenance check.
sparkie624 1
A very good possibility.... Those things do happen I think they would have had something that would be preventing them from putting it out of service so soon after that major interior upgrade they did not so long ago!
sparkie624 -9
They are Dumb to go with Airbus... They should most certainly go Boeing! A far superior a/c!
What's wrong with competition?
If a company finds a product that fits their requirements, they should be prevented from purchasing that product or products because an American company would not produce one? Is that what you are saying? It's a little late to close our borders.

Since the production and marketing of the Japanese transistor radio, American companies have ignored what the consumer wanted, and the technology to produce it. And what we have today is the result. You cannot turn back history.

The way to survive is to engineer and make what the customer wants today, not in a decade or two. If you don't, you will be left in the dust. And that is reality
boughbw 7
"What the customer wants" is an interesting term. I love the MD-90s and MD-95s that Delta flies, but I know they are headed for history over the next decade. The MD-88s are going over the next three years.

But what I don't want is to be crammed unto a 737-900; my least favorite ride in the sky. While I would call the 320 a decent machine, I don't particularly care for the 321 due to all the extra passengers... none of the bunch are as fun as the 319.

As the 757s and 767s are also on the clock, what the customer wants is less about me and more about the airline. Sadly, airlines seem to have no concern about what consumers want as they continue stuff as many passengers onto planes as will fit. With the 32x and 73x series looking to be the workhorse of the next few decades, I suppose we all had better get used to "generic" being the word of the day, with Bombardier's and Embraer's offerings looking pretty much the same.
Lewis Tripp -1
Boeing is an AMERICAN company.
SmokedChops 11
they are an American assembler of parts from all over the world. Many of whom also supply EADS. Mitsubishi, Dowty Messier, Shorts, SABCA, Dunlop, IPTN, all supply both.
sparkie624 -3
Boeing brings more money into our country than Airbus does...
Roch Comeau 3
How quaint.

So do you refuse to fly on any plane not made in the US? How do you suppose that would work out for Boeing if all other countries refused to buy Boeing products because they were American? Many European airlines fly Boeing products. Whey do they not restrict themselves to Airbus?

Air travel, by its very nature is an international endeavour. Airplanes and passengers fly all over the world to trade with each other, share experiences and become closer together. Planes are made from parts that are manufactured all over the world.

What you express goes against the very purpose of aviation.
In reality, there's no such thing as an American company anymore since all or most all parts for anything they might make is made elsewhere.
Aaron Harris 2
I wish Delta order more 737-800, 900ER, or even the MAX series. And and a few Boeing 777-300ER to replace the older 777.
boughbw 6
Why? Have you ridden a 900ER? It would be an injustice to sardines to make such a comparison.
Aaron Harris 1
I'm a pretty big fan of the 737. Although I have not ridden on Delta's 900ER. Its worth a shot to experience.
Roch Comeau 2
Yeah, you'll find those new high density layouts a real treat!
joel wiley 3
You seem to have missed the 'h' in threat there.
Aaron Harris 1
Looking back at the seat map on Delta's website,and a few videos, you got me on the amount of seats crammed in there. Well if I have a bit more money comfort then. :/
Superior would be a Fearjet!!!
kyle estep -1
Haven't been on the Bombardier C Series yet but everything else Bombardier made compared to Embraer is junk. I can't wait until the last of the CRJ-200 are beer cans, and even the larger CRJ's with those damn pink tags should be headed to St. Louis for use by InBev.


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