Delta removes MD-90s over older MD-88s in fleet update

FlightGlobal has reported Delta Air Lines has begun removing Boeing MD-90s from its fleet in the second quarter, as it continues to shift towards larger gauge aircraft, the aviation news provider said.

The Atlanta-based carrier removed 12 of the 158-seat aircraft from its “operating aircraft fleet” during the period, a quarterly financial filing shows. It ended the period with 53 MD-90s.

The move comes as something of a surprise as Delta executives continue to say that the airline is in the process of removing its 104 Boeing MD-88s with 149 seats, and not its MD-90s.

The MD-90s are both newer and more fuel efficient than the MD-88s, with an average age of 21.3 years compared to 27.7 years, respectively, the airline´s fleet plan shows.

All of the MD-90s that Delta has removed from its fleet this year are former China Southern Airlines aircraft that were acquired used in 2011, Flight Fleets Analyzer shows. Two aircraft shown as retired in the second quarter — MSNs 53524 and 53525 — were both built in 1996 and had around 31,500 cumulative cycles.