American Airlines Retires 20 MD-80 Aircraft

On Tuesday, August 23, American Airlines retired 20 McDonnell Douglas MD-80 aircraft in what the airline is calling “one of the largest single-day aircraft retirements in airline history.”  This retirement is part of a larger phase-out program American has planned for its entire MD-80 fleet. 

The MD-80 family of aircraft is currently the loudest single-aisle passenger service aircraft that operates regularly at MSP. The phase out and eventual retirement of the aircraft continues the trend of airlines updating their fleets. Newer aircraft come equipped with cutting edge technology, producing quieter and more fuel efficient flights.  

While American Airlines once operated as many as 370 MD-80s, the total will be down to 53 by the end of the 3rd quarter 2016.  The airline expects to fully retire the MD-80 fleet during 2018 by replacing them on a 1 for 1 basis with modern Boeing 737 and Airbus 320-series jets.

Map of final MD-80 flights to Roswell, NM

The retired aircraft were all flown to a Roswell, New Mexico, aircraft storage facility after completing their final scheduled passenger flight. Due to the low humidity, aircraft can remain in the desert air indefinitely and are typically used for parts before further disassembly.