Delta Retires MD-88s And MD-90s


Delta’s last MD-88 and MD-90 aircraft have completed their final passenger-carrying flights before heading into retirement at the aircraft boneyard in Blytheville, Arkansas. The airline’s last MD-90 arrived in Atlanta from Houston a little before 9 a.m. local time on Tuesday followed by the last MD-88 arriving from Washington-Dulles at around 10 a.m. Originally scheduled for the end of 2020, the retirement of both models was accelerated due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Delta is the last U.S. passenger airline to operate these aircraft, whose history will never be forgotten,” the company said. “At our peak, Delta operated a fleet of 185 ‘Mad Dog’ jets that flew roughly 900 daily flights.”

Before Delta’s COVID-related fleet reductions, the airline was operating 47 MD-88s and 29 MD-90s. The company received its first MD-88 in January 1988 and took delivery of its last in December 1993. Delta served as the launch customer for the MD-90, which entered service in April 1995. According to the company, a total of 9,032 Delta pilots were qualified to fly the MD-88 and MD-90 and the models flew more than 750 million passengers during their time as part of the airline’s fleet.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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