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Delta’s MD Fleet to Retire June 2

Airlines are rethinking fleet plans in the wake of the coronavirus-related plunge in air travel

Delta has announced the last of its MD-88 and MD-90 aircraft will make their final scheduled revenue flights for the carrier on June 2. The accelerated retirement of the McDonnell Douglas planes due to the COVID-19 pandemic was announced last month.

The airline says an MD-88 will fly between Washington Dulles and Atlanta on June 2, operating as Delta Flight 88, and on the same day a MD-90 will fly between Houston’s Bush Intercontinental to Atlanta as Delta Flight 90.

The aircraft will then fly to an aircraft storage park in Blytheville, AR, to be officially retired.

Delta’s move is indicative of the responses US carriers have unveiled as they look toward a much-changed aviation landscape emerging from the COVID-19 crisis. Delta had already announced plans to retire its entire fleet of 777 aircraft, with eight 777-200ER and ten 777-200LR aircraft set to leave the roster by the end of this year.

American Airlines had already operated its final MD-80 service in September last year. But the pandemic has prompted the airline to reduce its fleet by another 100 aircraft, including its entire 757, 767 and A330-300 and Embraer 190 fleet.

“Delta continues to evaluate its broader fleet plan and will consider additional aircraft retirements to focus on a modern, simpler fleet going forward,” the carrier in a statement.