Prior to 2020, the end was in sight for the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 with Delta being the last major operator of the type in the western hemisphere. Up until a few years ago both American and Delta operated large fleets of these planes and you could see them at almost every major airport. Most airlines that operated MD-80s began to scale back their fleets, retiring them in favor of newer more efficient jets. The Coronavirus pandemic accelerated these changes; with the sudden nosedive in airline ticket sales Delta pushed up the MD-88 and MD-90 retirement by more than a year. In June 2020 all of the remaining aircraft were sent to storage fields and many went directly to aircraft recycling facilities to be scrapped. By the end of 2020, there were less than 147 MD-80 aircraft of all variants still operating around the world out of 1,191 built, most with small airlines in the Caribbean, Central America, Africa, Alaska (cargo), and the middle east.
As a tribute to this one time workhorse of the airline fleet I’m presenting this full, uncut flight in HD on a Delta Air Lines MD-88 that I took in the summer of 2019. Delta flight 754 operated from Jackson Mississippi (JAN) to Atlanta (ATL) onboard N918DE, an MD-88 that was delivered in September 1993 and retired in March 2020. In this video I was sitting in 30A for this 51 minute/365 mile flight at 33,000 feet. Sit back and enjoy the sound and view from the wing of a flight on a McDonnell Douglas MD-88!