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Retire The MD11s.!?

Fri Aug 11, 2000 9:21 am

Recently ive read about airlines wanting to retire their md11s. Why are they doing this? Most of them are under 10 years old. Are they poorly made planes? Why are airlines doing this?

Ive heard that American, Delta, swissair, and others are considering doing this. WHY?
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RE: Retire The MD11s.!?

Fri Aug 11, 2000 9:26 am

I would bet that its because these airlines don't have alot of MD-11s, so if they got rid of the MD-11s and replaced them with 777s or A340s, their fleets would be simpler. Its too bad, though, the MD-11 is a really nice plane.
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RE: Retire The MD11s.!?

Fri Aug 11, 2000 9:32 am

Correct me if I'm wrong but American has sold its MD-11 fleet to FedEx. And Delta has 15 MD-11s. As far as I know, they will continue flying. However, they may be eventually phased out with 777s?
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RE: Retire The MD11s.!?

Fri Aug 11, 2000 9:37 am

Swissair has 19 Md11s and will phase them out from 2002. That is the normal procedure to sell the plane after 12-15 years at swissair.

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RE: Retire The MD11s.!?

Fri Aug 11, 2000 9:56 am

I think it has something to do with fuel consumption. Those planes were not as good as factory was promising. That is why some airlines, like Singapore Airlines, decided not to buy them although they had placed firm orders for MD-11
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RE: Retire The MD11s.!?

Fri Aug 11, 2000 9:59 am

I think it is insane for the airline's to retire an airplane that is this young and that has gotten good reviews from passengers(i am one for example who loves the MD-11) but it came out at a bad time and it is sad that the A330 and 777 have come to replace it, and wasn't the 777 developed to replace the DC-10? but i think AA and delta should hang on to them for the high density european routes and put most of the 777's in asia and for the mean time,AA is flying the MD-11 out of Europe.
bye MD-11 we will miss ya  
Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
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RE: Retire The MD11s.!?

Fri Aug 11, 2000 10:21 am

To say that the MD-11 fell short of performance specs is somewhat of an understatement. It was something like 500nm short in range - a hell of a lot - which meant that the primary routes that Delta (and others) wanted the aircraft for - Atlanta-Tokyo, and Dallas - Tokyo for AA, could not be flown without the addition of a fuel tank in the lower-deck cargo area.

MDC offered a correction program and retrofit for already-built aircraft, and from then on new aircraft met specifications, give or take. But the damage was done with the early performance shortfall.

Swissair was also affected by the shortfall, but because their MD-11s were so spacious, the aircraft could still fly their routes - albeit by loading more fuel than originally anticipated.


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RE: Retire The MD11s.!?

Fri Aug 11, 2000 1:09 pm

Man, That is sad!!!!! I love the MD-11. I hope Delta keeps the MD-11 for a long time.

Seems like everyday their are less, and less Tri-Jets.

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Fri Aug 11, 2000 2:11 pm

Probably yes because twin jets can do their jobs more economically; again, please correct me if I'm wrong.
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RE: Retire The MD11s.!?

Fri Aug 11, 2000 2:25 pm

Another important MD11 operator, Alitalia, is planning to replace them with 10 B777-300er.
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RE: Retire The MD11s.!?

Sat Aug 12, 2000 2:16 am

I also remember reading something about difficulty in repairing composite surfaces. Apparently, large portions of the tail are constructed from composites that are time-consuming to fix.
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RE: Retire The MD11s.!?

Sat Aug 12, 2000 2:34 am

Another reason for the early retirement from passenger service is that the MD-11s proved to be very efficient freighters, which probably brings the second-hand price up quite a bit.
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RE: Retire The MD11s.!?

Sat Aug 12, 2000 3:09 am

It is true that early versions of the MD-11 did not meet the MD promises of range and payload, however with the addition of winglets (this occured before delivery) performance was enhanced. A later, but not much later fix was the retrofitting of an additional fuel tank in the belly which allowed the MD-11s to have a range comparable to that of the longest long range A340s/777s and 747-400s. This improvement was not only offered as a retrofit but on new build MD-11s as well. Delta lists their MD-11s range at 7,360 nm, thats 360nm more than their 777-200s at 7,000nm. So the MD-11ER outranges the 777-200ER.

The main factor for replacing MD-11s is that there arent any more available. Existing fleets cannot be augmented by new aircraft of the same type. The MD-11 will certainly remain in service for many years to come as it is a very efficient aircraft for hauling cargo. There are 200 MD-11s out there which is not a tiny number of aircraft so dont be surprised if FedEx snaps up many more of them as they come up for sale or return to leasors. I expect Lufthansa will also buy additional second hand MD-11s to augment their new-build fleet of 14 aircraft. There are still 2 new build MD-11Fs to be delivered to Lufthansa in the next six months, after those deliveries, thats the end of the MD-11 production line and likely the end of the tri-jet era.