American Sets Retirement Date for MD-80s

 - June 25, 2019, 12:10 PM
An American Airlines MD-80 lands at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. (Photo: Flickr: Creative Commons (BY) by Grant Wickes)

American Airlines will retire its last 26 McDonnell Douglas MD-80s on September 4, the airline announced Tuesday. The retirements will leave Delta Air Lines as the MD-80 family’s last U.S. operator. Allegiant Air retired the last of its MD-80s last autumn.

American planned to replace the venerable narrowbodies with Boeing 737 Max jets, whose worldwide grounding raised speculation that the airline would delay its MD-80 retirement plans. In a statement to AIN, American said it would adjust its schedule if the Max does not return to service by September 4, but that the MD-80 retirement plans would not change.

In April, American canceled flights operated with its 24 Max jets through August 19, and recently extended the cancellations through September. 3. Its resulting cancellation rate will stay at roughly 115 flights per day.