The MD90 issue is a very difficult one for DL
- with only 16 in the fleet, it does not make much economic sense to keep them, but there is vitually no second hand market for the MD90s. I am sure that if a leasing company made DL
a reasonable offer for the entire MD90 fleet, DL
would jump at it.....but trying to sell of the 16 MD90s to other carriers on a one by one basis will take years and if buyers could be found, they would not be willing to pay much for the aircraft. Also, DL
would more or less be forced to write down the aircraft and take a huge charge on its already gloomy balance sheet if it simply parked the MD90 aircraft. As you probably know, DL
has sold off its next 11 738s - the aircraft will be delivered to DL
and immediately transfered to a (UK based?) leasing company; I am sure DL
would have loved to keep the new 738s and sold off the MD90s instead, but the 738s command very good prices while the MD90s have little value on the second hand market.
I think that DL
will hold on to the MD90s in the near-term future unless there is another major cutback in mainline flying; one rumor suggests that DL
plans to use more regional jets (and more or less bringing the DFW
hub to end) while other rumors suggest that DL
will cut back on the use of regional jets which indicates the need for mainline aircraft so its very hard to say what will happen. Also, the future of Song and its 30+ 757s is anything but clear.
would like to get to an MD88/738/757/763/764 domestic fleet and a 763ER/777 long-haul fleet - but it will take a lot of money (or a lot of cutbacks) to eliminate the MD90, 732, 733 and 762 from Delta operations.