American Airlines to Close St. Louis Base, Retire MD-80 Aircraft

By Anna Breuer on 31 October 2017
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View from an AA MD-80 cockpit

American Airlines announced plans to close its St. Louis, Missouri, pilot base and also retire its fleet of MD-80 aircraft.

The St. Louis base, acquired by American when it acquired Trans World Airlines’ assets in bankruptcy in 2001, operates only MD-80s.

The Fort Worth-based carrier, which currently has 46 MD-80s in its fleet, will finish the year with 45. It will retire an additional 19 in 2018 and the last American MD-80 flight will take place in 2019. Once the St. Louis base closes, the MD-80s that remain in the fleet will be based in Dallas.

The McDonnell Douglas MD-80 is a series of twin-engine, short-to-medium range single-aisle aircraft, developed as an update to the storied DC-9. The MD-80 seats 130 to 172 passengers depending on how it is configured.

Although Swissair was the type’s launch customer, American and Delta operated the largest fleets of the jetliner.

McDonnell Douglas christened the MD-80 with the name “Super 80” and American Airlines used that name for marketing purposes when it introduced the plane in 1983.

“Share the excitement of this next step in aviation. A great airline and a great airplane for the Eighties. American’s Super 80.” American operated one-third of the 1,191 MD-80s that were built between 1979 and 1991. Its 1990 order for 240 of the type was the largest aircraft order ever placed at the time.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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