Today, Delta will retire its remaining Douglas DC-9 aircraft following Flight 2014 scheduled to depart Minneapolis/St. Paul for Atlanta at 4:20 p.m. (CST), the last scheduled commercial flight of the DC-9 by a major U.S. airline.
The aircraft’s retirement paves the way for newer, more efficient aircraft.
“The DC-9 has been a workhorse in our domestic fleet while providing a reliable customer experience,” said Nat Pieper, Delta’s vice president – Fleet Strategy. “The aircraft’s retirement paves the way for newer, more efficient aircraft.”
Over the last five years, in an effort to reduce fuel usage and modernize its aircrafts, Delta has retired more than 350 aircraft from its fleet. The DC-9 retirement comes just months after Delta began taking delivery of its orders of 88 Boeing 717-200 aircraft and 100 Boeing 737-900ER aircraft, which began entering service in October and November, respectively. Each aircraft features a First Class cabin and slim-line seats throughout Delta’s Economy Comfort and Economy cabin along with Wi-Fi connectivity and in-seat power ports.
Delta was the launch customer for the original 65-seat version of the DC-9 in 1965 as the airline replaced propeller aircraft on high-frequency, short-haul domestic routes. The twin-engine plane was removed from the Delta fleet in 1993, but larger variants reentered service following the merger; those aircraft joined Northwest after it acquired Republic Airlines in 1986. Delta has flown a total of 305 DC-9s since 1965.
To acknowledge the DC-9’s retirement, the last flight has been tagged DL2014 noting the final year of service, while the preceding flight operating from Detroit to Minneapolis/St. Paul will be flight DL1965, the aircraft’s initial year of service.