AS will slowly retire its MD80 fleet as leases expire and as the aircraft require heavy (expensive) maintenance, subject to AS
's financial situation and the health of the airline industry in general. AS
is still growing, and many of the 73G aircraft have been used to open new routes, so the MD80s are still around doing a lot of west coast service. AS
does not have any large orders outstanding at the moment, with just a handful of 737NG aircraft yet to be delivered - when the timing is right, the next order is likely to be for additonal 73G and the proposed 737-900X (ideal for transcon services) which will probably result in a definite retirement schedule for the MD80. AS
is also looking at returning 734s as leases expire (even while the MD80s are still around), depending on market condition, thus, the simple answer is that MD80s will remain in the AS
fleet as long as they make economic sense.
As mentioned above, US dropped the MD80 as part of its massive type simplication and downsizing effort (and they were among the first of the type built for PSA), NW
parked their handful of MD80s to simplifly their fleet when the A32Xs arrived, and CO
is in the process of phasing the MD80 out which was planned as part of CO
's huge purchase of new generation 737s, but many CO
MD80s went out of service faster than planned due to the down-turn in airline traffic. Also, CO
, US (and AS
) fly or have flown many early-1980s vintage MD80s, while AA
have, in general, much new examples. CO
's MD80 fleet is a mix of aircraft delivered new to CO
and acquired second hand from a variety of other carriers such as Frontier, New York Air, Muse Air, Air California, etc.