Home Classic Airliners 16 Airlines Still Flying the MD-80

16 Airlines Still Flying the MD-80

by Matt Falcus

The McDonnell Douglas MD-80 is a series of airliners developed from the Douglas DC-9 in the 1970s. They started entering service in the 1980s and were popular with many airlines all around the world right up to the 2000s.

The family of aircraft included the MD-81, MD-82 and MD-83, the shorter MD-87, and the later MD-88 and MD-90 additions.

In recent years the number of airlines still flying the MD-80, or “Mad Dog” as it’s often known, has dwindled significantly.

However, there are still some you can see and fly on.

Here are 16 airlines still flying the MD-80:


African Express Airways

5Y-AXN African Express MD-82 Sharjah 15/06/2014

This Kenyan airline is known as one of the world’s last Douglas DC-9s in passenger configuration. It is also an operator of the McDonnell Douglas MD-82, with two active in the fleet.


World Atlantic Airlines

Eric Salard, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Also operating as Caribbean Sun Airlines, this American airline is the last in the US to fly MD-80 family aircraft in passenger service.

With a fleet of 9 MD-83 variants, its aircraft usually operate on charter services and on behalf of other airlines – usually in the Caribbean or South American area. You’re most likely to see them at Miami or Fort Lauderdale airports.



aeroprints.com, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

This low-cost airline from Venezuela has two MD-82s in its fleet.

They operate from bases at Caracas and Maracaibo to domestic destinations and some in the Caribbean.


Aeronaves TSM


A Mexican charter airline. It has 15 MD-82/3 aircraft in its fleet, which can be seen across the country, Central and South America, and Caribbean. It’s MD-80s are all configured as freighters, so do not carry passengers.


Zagros Airlines

Zagros Airlines # MD-82 # EP-ZAA # THR/OIII # 27-02-2017

The MD-80 is still quite common in Iran.

Zagros Airlines is an Iranian airline that operates domestic flights, and some routes to nearby Azerbaijan, Armenia, Iraq, Turkey and Dubai. It has ten MD-82/83 aircraft.


Iran Airtour

Anna Zvereva from Tallinn, Estonia, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Third from Iran is Iran Airtour, the scheduled domestic and regional operator which flies throughout the country, and also to places like Dubai, Istanbul and Yerevan.

The airline has four active MD-82 aircraft.


ATA Airlines

ATA Airlines, EP-TAP, McDonnell Douglas MD-83

Tabriz-based ATA Airlines is another Iranian carrier with a heavy focus on domestic flights, as well as destinations in Iraq, Kuwait, Turkey and Georgia.

Among its varied fleet are seven MD-83 aircraft.


ALK Airlines

One of the few European MD-80 operators, ALK Airlines is a charter carrier based at Sofia Airport in Bulgaria.

The airline has two MD-82 aircraft, but these are used on behalf of other airlines and don’t operate scheduled services of their own.


LASER Airlines

André Du-pont (Mexico Air Spotters) (GFDL 1.2 <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html> or GFDL 1.2 <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html>), via Wikimedia Commons

Another Venezuelan airline. LASER, or Línea Aérea de Servicio Ejecutivo Regional, has a fleet made up entirely of MD-80 aircraft, with a mix of seven across the MD-81, -82 and -83 variants.

The airline flies out of Caracas on domestic flights, and also to various destinations across the Caribbean, and also Miami in the USA.



HI1055 McDonnell Douglas MD-82 Red Air Miami 17.1.23

A low-cost carrier based in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. It flies two MD-82 aircraft, and recently lost one in a landing accident at Miami International.


European Aircharter

Bulgarian Air Charter McDonnell Douglas MD82 LZ-LDS

The other remaining European operator of the MD-80.

European Aircharter is a Bulgarian airline which flies charter services on behalf of tour operators throughout Europe.

Its fleet comprises eight MD-82 aircraft.


Taban Air

Taban Air McDonnell Douglas MD-88 EP-TBC cn 53550/2187

Yet another Iranian carrier, Taban Air flies out of Mashhad and Tehran on domestic and regional services.

It is one of the few remaining operators of the MD-88 variant, with five in its fleet.


Caspian Airlines

Caspian Airlines

Iran’s Caspian Airlines is an Iranian domestic carrier with a fleet of five MD-83 aircraft, based at both of Tehran’s airports, as well as Mashhad.


Kish Air


, via Wikimedia Commons” class=”size-large” /> Alan Wilson from Stilton, Peterborough, Cambs, UK, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

An Iranian carrier based at Kish and Mashhad with a vast number of domestic routes, as well as some international services to Iraq, Oman, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

It has 7 MD-82/83 aircraft.


TezJet Airlines

TezJet Air Company, EX-80003, McDonnell Douglas MD-83

Kazakhstan airline TezJet was founded in 2013 and uses a fleet of Avro RJ85 and MD-83 aircraft, with one active at present.

It operates from a hub at Bishkek to five domestic destinations.




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Rafael Perez March 27, 2023 - 9:48 pm

Nice info. I seen pictures of both Laser and Red Air, MD90s. They mostly land at Aeropuerto, Las Americas, (Airport of the Americas) in the capitol,
Santo Domingo. My wish to go planeslotting there one day.

MERVYN CROWE March 30, 2023 - 10:29 am

Had my first MD-80 flight 18/05/83 N505MD demo aircraft in Melbourne. Since then flown on SAS, and AMERICAN
Great hard working airliner, loved flying on them.


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