Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Delta Air Lines announced it would retire the MD-88 and MD-90 aircraft earlier than previously planned.
Delta originally planned to remove the planes from service later in the year, but the reduced demand for air travel has caused the airline to announce an accelerated retirement schedule, effective June 2020.
As part of the carrier’s efforts to ease the financial losses associated with the vial pandemic, Delta cut its overall active fleet by about 50 percent, with more than 600 mainline and regional aircraft parked over the last two months.
The airline is using the downtime to consider early retirements of older, less efficient planes.
Before the coronavirus outbreak forced Delta to reduce its active fleet size, it had 47 MD-88s and 29 MD-90s operating, all of which were previously set to retire by the end of 2020.
The carrier continues to evaluate its broader fleet plan and will consider additional aircraft retirements to focus on a modern, more simplified fleet going forward.
Earlier this month, Delta announced new policies moving forward, including reducing the number of passengers on each flight; blocking middle seats in Main Cabin, Delta Comfort+ and Delta Premium Select across all of its flights; and pausing automatic advance Medallion Complimentary Upgrades.
In addition, the airline revealed it would give every passenger on domestic flights personal snack bags to help decrease touchpoints. The snack bag includes Cheez-It crackers, Biscoff cookies, 8.5 oz Dasani bottled water, hand sanitizing wipe and a cocktail napkin.
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