American Airlines retired its final McDonnel Douglas MD-80
aircraft Wednesday, ending a 36-year run operating a plane affectionately
called the Super 80.
American's final scheduled MD-80 flight departed Dallas/Fort
Worth and landed at Chicago O'Hare at 11:32 a.m. local time, according to the
website Flight Aware. Most of American's 26 remaining MD-80s were slated to
take their final flights on Wednesday to the aircraft boneyard in Roswell, N.M.
In a statement, American described the MD-80 as the "workhorse"
of its fleet during the 1980s and beyond. When American first flew the plane in
1983, it was among the most fuel-efficient in the sky. By 2003, American
operated 362 Super 80s, approximately one-third of all MD-80s ever produced by
McDonnell Douglas, the carrier said.
More recently, American and other carriers have replaced the
MD-80 with new aircraft, most notably variants of the Airbus A320 and Boeing
Delta is now the lone U.S. carrier flying variants of the
MD-80 with a total of 96 in its fleet, according to the website Planespotters.