Last updated: 02:30 PM ET, Wed August 24 2016

American Airlines Retires 20 MD-80s in One Day

Airlines & Airports | American Airlines | Patrick Clarke | August 24, 2016

American Airlines Retires 20 MD-80s in One Day

Photo courtesy of American Airlines. 

American Airlines retired 20 MD-80 commercial jet airliners Tuesday in one of the largest single-day aircraft retirements in industry history, USA Today reported.

The aircraft were flown to the "boneyard" in Roswell, New Mexico, from destinations all across the U.S., including Chicago, Tampa, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, and Dallas-Fort Worth, among others.

Seventeen of the 20 140-passenger "Super 80s" were originally delivered to American, while the remaining three were inherited by the Fort Worth, Texas-based airline when it acquired Trans World Airlines in 2001.

According to, the retired planes are an average of 28 years old, with a majority having been delivered in the late 1980s. The oldest aircraft was delivered in 1986, while the newest three were delivered in 1993.

While American's fleet once consisted of more than 370 MD-80s, the carrier was operating fewer than 90 as of the second quarter of 2016. By the end of the third quarter American will have just over 50 remaining in its fleet.

READ MORE: How Old Is Too Old For A Commercial Airplane?

Nonetheless the aircraft will remain in the airline's fleet "through at least summer 2018," according to spokesman Josh Freed.

"We have a long-term MD-80 retirement plan and with the busy summer flying season winding down, today was a good day to take care of these," Freed told USA Today. 

Developed by McDonnell Douglas in the 1970s, the MD-80 series first entered commercial service in 1980. Nearly 1,200 were produced over the course of two decades. 

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