As a dispatcher of our beautiful airplanes, I am sad to see the airplane go, but economics are driving this plane to an early retirement here. The seating is excellent in coach, 2 x 3, the ride is smooth and quiet wing forward, and riding in the flight deck allows one to watch pilots navigating rather than punching buttons...again, it's all a matter of opinion here...
As for the fleet, as of today, 5-29, there are 14 MD
-80s still flying with CO
. Ships 827, 833 and this morning, 879, have all been ferried from IAH
, where the majority of the last 20 retirees have gone for storage and hoped for onward life. Most of our MD
-80s have found new life with other carriers, some in Indonesia as a previous comment mentioned, with Bouraq and Lion Air, some with Allegiant Air and TransMeridian here in the US, and that's a testament to the quality of the airframe, the age of the airplane and the maintenance performed over the years being highly regarded.
-80 may make it into 2005, but only a couple will remain into the new year, if any at all.
My personal favorite in the fleet still flies, N72825, mainly because the registration is my birthday (8-25-72)...and for those that remember the LGA
incident years ago, N18835 still flies as well, however that airplane is believed to be the next to be retired...