DAT retires Europe’s last MD-83 aircraft with a special flight

Eric Salard / Wikipedia

Danish airline DAT, formerly known as Danish Air Transport, has retired its last MD-80 series aircraft, an MD-83. To mark the bittersweet occasion, the airline said goodbye to the Mad Dog with a special flight on October 16, 2021. 

On the day, flight DX1 took off from Copenhagen Airport (CPH) and landed at the same airport 1.5 hours later. But instead of turning its usual circles in the Danish skies, the pilots embarked on a flight path to spell out “MD”. 

The aircraft in question is a 31-year-old McDonnell Douglas MD-83, registered as OY-RUE. Having started operation with Airtours International Airways in 1990, the aircraft was delivered to the Danish airline in January 2010, Planespotters.net data shows. 

The OY-RUE is the last MD-83 flying in Europe. Several other MD-80 series aircraft remain in operation with the continent’s charter airlines, such as the MD-82 operated by European Air Charter and MD-87 operated by AMAC Aerospace.

The OY-RUE is headed towards Hurghada International Airport (HRG) in Egypt, a flight DX782, on October 17, 2021. But the airline is yet to announce whether the aircraft will be dismantled or sold, as some of its other MD-80s, which found their second (or rather tenth) lives, are now in Iran. 

The MD-83 is a long-range version of the McDonnell Douglas MD-80. The family, introduced in the early 1980s, is derived from the DC-9 mainline jet and competed with the Boeing 737 and its equivalents within the range between 3,300 km (1,800 nm) and 5,400 km (2,900 nm) and passenger capacity is between 117 and 155 seats.

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