Delta Air Lines will Retire Last Commercial DC-9Posted on January 6, 2014
Delta Air Lines will retire its remaining Douglas DC-9 aircraft following Flight 2014, scheduled to depart Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) for Atlanta at 4:20 p.m. Monday, January 6. This will be the last scheduled commercial flight of the DC-9 by a major U.S. airline. DC-9s are a major contributor to noise around MSP. "The DC-9 has been one of the loudest aircraft in the fleet at MSP for decades, the retirement of this aircraft from Delta's fleet has a positive effect in advancing the continued reduction in aircraft noise impact in the residential neighborhoods around MSP," said John Nelson, Metropolitan Airports Commission Noise-Environment & Planning Manager.
Delta was the launch customer for the original 65-seat version of the DC-9 in 1965 as the airline replaced propeller aircraft on high-frequency, short-haul domestic routes. The twin-engine plane was removed from the Delta fleet in 1993, but larger variants re-entered service following the merger; those aircraft joined Northwest after it acquired Republic Airlines in 1986. Northwest's total of DC-9s hit 180 in 1997 before it began retiring some of its oldest DC-9s. Since then, Delta has been paring down the DC-9 fleet, which stood at 16 as of Sept. 30, 2013. Delta has flown a total of 305 DC-9s since 1965. To acknowledge the DC-9's retirement, the last flight has been tagged DL2014 noting the final year of service, while the preceding flight operating from Detroit to MSP will be flight DL1965, the aircraft's initial year of service. "The DC-9 has been a workhorse in our domestic fleet while providing a reliable customer experience," said Nat Pieper, Delta's vice president - Fleet Strategy. "The aircraft's retirement paves the way for newer, more efficient aircraft."
The DC-9 retirement comes just months after Delta began taking delivery of its orders of 88 Boeing 717-200 aircraft and 100 Boeing 737-900ER aircraft, which began entering service in October and November, respectively. Delta also recently announced its order for 40 Airbus aircraft including 30 narrowbody A321s, which will begin to be delivered in 2016.
For more information about MSP aircraft operations and runway use, please visit the MAC's Noise Program Office website at www.macnoise.com/tools-reports or call 612-726-9411, option 2.