American Airlines Retiring 20 MD-80s in One Day
American Airlines retired 20 of its MD-80 jets on Tuesday August 23rd. All 20 aircraft were sent to Roswell, New Mexico, as part of what American called “one of the largest single-day aircraft retirements in airline history.”
Of the 20 planes headed to the New Mexico desert, 17 were originally delivered to American Airlines. The three others were inherited by American via acquisition of TWA. The average age of the 20 retiring jets is 28 years old. The 140-seat MD-80 arrived to Roswell throughout the day arriving at a clip of about one every five minutes during an
85-minute window starting at 11:20 a.m. local time. Stille, American Spokeman Josh Freed said, “Today’s 20 retirements do not indicate an acceleration of MD-80 retirements.”
“It’s just that we have a long-term MD-80 retirement plan and with the busy summer flying season winding down, August 23rd was a good day to take care of these,” Freed adds.
American had 87 MD-80s remaining in its fleet as of the second quarter of 2016. By the end of the third quarter, American says that number will have dropped to just 53 – aided in large part by this mass retirement. Freed said some MD-80s will remain in the carrier’s fleet “through at least summer of 2018.”
In Roswell, two full-time American employees processed incoming aircraft as they arrived. Planes can sit indefinitely in storage in Roswell, where the desert air helps keep the idle aircraft from corroding. Some find second lives, taken to cargo carriers or by smaller airlines in the developing world. Others face a stark end – raided for parts or scrapped altogether.
Source : USA Today/American Airlines