Delta retired the last of its McDonnell Douglas aircraft
Tuesday after carrying more than 750 million passengers on MD-88 and MD-90
The last MD-88 flight, appropriately named Delta Flight 88,
landed at 10:04 a.m. in Atlanta from Washington Dulles. Delta Flight 90, the
airline’s final MD-90 flight, landed in Atlanta at 8:46 a.m. from Houston Bush.
The retirement of both aircraft types was accelerated due to
the Covid-19 crisis, which forced Delta to park more than half its fleet. Delta
entered the pandemic with 47 MD-88s in operation and 29 MD-90s. The carrier had
previously planned to retire its MD-88 fleet by the end of the year and its
MD-90 fleet in 2022.
Nicknamed the Mad Dogs, the McDonnell Douglas planes were
for a long time the workhorses of Delta’s narrowbody fleet. Delta began flying
the MD-88 in 1987 and operated as many as 120 of them. The carrier launched its
first of an eventual 65 MD-90s in 1995. As recently as 2014, the two aircraft
accounted for about 900 of Delta’s approximately 3,000 daily flights from its
With the MD-88 and MD-90 retirements, Delta’s remaining
mid-size narrowbody fleet will be comprised entirely of Boeing 737s and Airbus
A320s, A319s and A321s.
Delta will no longer fly any McDonnell Douglas jets, however
the carrier continues to have a fleet of 91 Boeing 717s, a small mainline
narrowbody that was designed by McDonnell Douglas and marketed as the MD-95
Correction: Delta is currently flying Boeing 717s. A previous version of this report incorrectly stated they were parked.