Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Asia, Bulgaria, Denmark, Eastern Europe, Iran, Italy, Middle East, North America, South America, Taiwan, USA, Venezuela, Western Europe | Posted on 09-11-2013
Another aircraft I noticed that is starting to slip from the radar (SAS retired their last example last month after a long association with the type) is the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 series. This stretched variant of the ubiquitous DC-9 was very popular with mainline and charter airlines from its first appearance in the 1980s.
Today only a handful of airlines are still flying the aircraft (which makes it a candidate for a future update of Last Chance to Fly!). Luckily some of these carriers are easily accessible and have the type in larger number.
I’m only looking at the older MD-80/81/82/83/87 variants here. MD-88s and -90s are a bit more common for the time being.
The main airlines still flying the aircraft are:
The airline’s MD-80 fleet was once one of the largest in the world, and is still found in decent numbers on its domestic network. However the type is steadily being replaced by modern Boeing and Airbus aircraft, so catch one while you can!
Another of the largest operators of the type, Allegiant Air flies MD-82, -83 and -87 aircraft on leisure and low cost schedules and charters across America.
The Venezuelan carrier has a number of MD-82 and -83 aircraft which it flies from its Caracas base.
Iran Air Tours
This airline flies ten MD-82s from Tehran on scheduled services. It used the aircraft to replace its older Tupolev TU-154s.
Danish Air Transport
A scheduled and charter airline flying a couple of MD-80 series aircraft from Denmark.
Bulgarian Air Charter
This airline operates charter flights across Europe with a fleet of 13 MD-82/83 aircraft.
Far Eastern Air Transport
This troubled Taiwanese carrier recently returned to the skies and is now equipped with a fleet of eight MD-82/83 aircraft. It flies them from Taipei to destinations across the Far East.
Which airlines have you flown an MD-80 series aircraft of? When was the last time you flew one?