Delta Air Lines reveals d-day of Mad Dog era end

Tomas Del Coro, CC BY-SA 2.0

On June 3, 2020, Delta Airlines (DAL) will mark the bittersweet end of an era. On the day, the airline’s last McDonnell Douglas jet will make its one last journey to the retirement place. Delta’s MD-90 is the last remaining jet of the kind in service around the world, and the penultimate operator of MD-88. 

When American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) waved good-bye to its fleet of McDonnell Douglas jets in the autumn of 2019, Delta Airlines (DAL) became the sole largest operator of the type not only in the continent, but the whole world. The airline still had under a hundred of MDs, and their average age varied from over 20 years (MD-90) to just under 30 (MD-88). 

The service life of Delta’s Mad Dogs was cut short by the COVID-19 crisis. In March 2020, the U.S. airline announced it would retire its MD-88 and MD-90 fleets. Now, it has revealed that final McDonnell Douglas jets will carry the last revenue flights in early June, before they embark to Blytheville aircraft graveyard for retirement. 

While some other airlines and leasing companies still have some stored MD-90s, Delta Airlines (DAL) is the last airline that still actively uses it for passenger service, data indicates. The airline is also the penultimate operator of the MD-88. Once they are gone, the only five operational MD-88s left in the world will be those of Taban Airlines (Iran). 

The last revenue flights of Delta’s Mad Dogs are scheduled on June 2, 2020. The final task of MD-88, Flight 88, will be from Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD) to Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). Delta Flight 90 (the last one for MD-90, as the name suggests) will take off from Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and will also land in ATL. 

After gathering in Atlanta, the T-tail jets will take off once more. But this time, there will be no paying passengers onboard, as the planes will head to the boneyard in Blytheville. The final flight of the kind, of the last MD-88, is scheduled on June 3, 2020. 


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