American Airlines operates its final MD-80 flight

The MD-80 was once the workhorse of American's narrowbody fleet.
The MD-80 was once the workhorse of American's narrowbody fleet. Photo Credit: American Airlines

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 737. 

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.


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