America Airlines, Delta Accelerate Retirement of 7 Fleet Types Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic

By Paul Riegler on 30 April 2020
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An American Airlines 767-300 at JFK

The two largest U.S. airlines, American and Delta, announced plans to send a number of aircraft types into early retirement amidst the downturn in customer demand during the coronavirus pandemic.

American Airlines said it has “officially retired” its Boeing 767 and Embraer E190 fleets and will soon retire its remaining Airbus A330, Boeing 757, and Bombardier CRJ200 airliners, while Delta said it would retire the McDonnell Douglas MD-88 and MD-90 aircraft.

All seven types were bound for retirement but the Covid-19 outbreak sealed their fate.

The single-aisle Boeing 757 and twin-aisle 767 aircraft had a long and illustrious history with American.  The first Boeing 757-200s and 767-200s entered the airline’s fleet in 1982, and the 767-300s joined them in 1988.  All 767-200s were retired in 2014.  At one time American had 177 757s and 97 767s in its fleet.  The 757 fleet was mainly used on flights to South America as well as on some popular domestic routes and less profitable transatlantic routes. The 767s were used on transatlantic routes from New York and Chicago and the final years of the 767-200 were spent serving the airline’s premium transcon routes from New York City to San Francisco and Los Angeles.

American inherited the twin-aisle Airbus A330s and the Embraer E190s from US Airways.

“These changes remove operating complexity and will bring forward cost savings and efficiencies associated with operating fewer aircraft types,” American said.

Looking ahead, American will have two cockpit types in its narrow-body fleet, the Airbus A320 family and the Boeing 737, and two in its wide-body fleet, the Boeing 777 and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Delta was the launch customer for the McDonnell Douglas MD-90, which was introduced in 1995 and replaced some of the Douglas Commercial DC-90s in its fleet. The earlier MD-88 was the final variant of the MD-80, and it went into service with Delta in 1986. Both planes were mainstays of the airline’s narrow-body fleet, which was used almost exclusively for short- and mid-haul domestic flights.

The so-called “Mad Dogs” will retire in June.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)



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