American 767 wrote:
No, many of them are getting new lifes at south america and Africa.
The last few MD-80s built 20 years ago yes for sure because they still have some life left, and they have been flying long segments so they still have quite a few cycles to go before retirement. But now the question is: does N501AA, the sole MD-82 left, still have some left after leaving AA? Because N501AA must be now at 23 years old if not older, don't know when N501AA was delivered but I know all 260 nAAtive AA MD-80s were delivered by 1996, and it must have quite a lot of cycles by now.
According to airfleets.net N501AA was delivered October 1989, so almost 30. https://www.airfleets.net/ficheapp/plane-md80-49738.htm
Let us out in perspective the MD-80 is certified for 110,000 flight cycles (FC) and 150,000 flight hours. One performs maintenance on either or both, depending how systems wear.
The A320 is certified for 60,000 FC and 120,000 FH. At 24 to 28 years, the A320s will run out of certified life, almost always with 12,000+ FC left (use up life on hours). For example, the E-190 wing spar cracks on hours. Landing gear and engines wear on cycles, but some added wear, in particular compressor stator actuators on hours, flaps wear on a mix.
The conclusion is an MD-80 is built for 25% more hours than an A320. So it should be good for 30 to 35 years (more if properly stored).
But variable costs are another matter. An MD-80 burns slightly more fuel than a 737-800:viewtopic.php?t=467405
Now, that thread is 12 years old. PiPs have reduced 738 fuel burn about 5% since then (engine PiPs, scimitar winglets) and 738 maintenance costs have improved more.
Even more relevant, there are old A320s and, once the MAX flies again, plenty of used 737NGs. Parts are also getting pricey on the MD-80. A workhorse whose time has come. Pratt doesn't fully support the engines even as AA and DL run off cannibalized parts and 'golden engines' or engines with hours left pulled from scrapped airframes.
Oh, I know DL will swap parts engine to engine if that extends the life. E.g., if an engine has a good set of combustor cans and high turbine with say 2,000 cycles left, some are going into Frankenstein engines. But mostly low utilization of engines with life left.
DL must be buying G4 and AA golden engines.