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30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:06 pm
by LRGT
Hi,

Wondering what airlines still operate planes in regular passenger service that are 30+ years old.

Are there any 30+ year-old aircraft in regular passenger service that are NOT 757/767/A320?

I know there are a TON of 30 year old A320's with Air Canada and Lufthansa in regular service.

AA and DL have some 320's that are approaching 30 too (from HP--> US--> AA) (NW--> DL). But it seems the US carriers are dumping them right before they turn 30, unlike AC and LH who are hanging on beyond 30!

What about 757/767's out there that are 30+ years old? With what airlines?

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:08 pm
by LRGT
FWIW, AA has 1 MD-80 that's 30, but the rest of the active fleet is only 20

Could that be the only 30 year old bird flying regular passenger service that's NOT a 757/767/A320?

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:13 pm
by azz767
Jet2 in the UK have 3 737-300 left in the fleet over 30 years old. They will be the next 3 to leave the fleet in the very near future but they are still flying and above 30 years old

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:15 pm
by jbmitt
[twoid][/twoid]
LRGT wrote:
FWIW, AA has 1 MD-80 that's 30, but the rest of the active fleet is only 20

Could that be the only 30 year old bird flying regular passenger service that's NOT a 757/767/A320?


First DL MD-88 deliveries were in 1987 so they could potentially be close. I'm guessing they have retired the oldest ones.

https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N904DL

https://www.planespotters.net/airframe/ ... s/GWAgCNNO shows delivered in March of 1987.

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:24 pm
by MIflyer12
LRGT wrote:
I know there are a TON of 30 year old A320's with Air Canada and Lufthansa in regular service.


It's what people think they know - but don't - that gets them into trouble.

According to planespotters.net, AC's oldest active 319/20/21 is from Jan. 1990.

LH's oldest 319/20/21 is from Oct. 1989.

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:29 pm
by Canuck600
I believe there are some 737-200's on scheds in northern Canada

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:33 pm
by whywhyzee
AC's mainline 767s are 30.

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:45 pm
by lat41
LRGT wrote:
Hi,

Wondering what airlines still operate planes in regular passenger service that are 30+ years old.



AA and DL have some 320's that are approaching 30 too (from HP--> US--> AA) (NW--> DL). But it seems the US carriers are dumping them right before they turn 30, unlike AC and LH who are hanging on beyond 30!

What about 757/767's out there that are 30+ years old? With what airlines?

Is there a technical difference between retiring an aircraft type or "dumping" it? Perhaps that expression has some other non technical meaning depending on type?

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:53 pm
by akb88
OK so as a nervous flier I often get stressed when I see the age of the plane I'm on. I usually fly Icelandair 757 which are almost all around 25 years old. These aircrafts are still just as safe as anything else flying am I right?

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:56 pm
by 777PHX
KLM has a couple 744s that are 29 years old. Eritrean has a 767 that's 34 years old. Air Canada has a few 767s over 30. AC and LH both have a few A320s that are knocking on 30. DL has a few 757s still active that are closing in on 30 this year too.

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:08 am
by davidjohnson6
Take a look at the fleet of Motor Sich, based in Zaporizhia, Ukraine - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_Sich_Airlines
UR-47297 is in regular commercial passenger service and flew 4 sectors on Tuesday 26 March 2019 - it's an Antonov 24 that is now 48 years old
Yes, that means normal daily use, not just special flights for spotters
https://www.flightradar24.com/data/aircraft/ur-47297

Motor Sich have two other An-24s (both 46 years old) and 3 Yakovlev 40s (39, 44 and 44 years old) in their fleet that are actively used on a regular basis.
If you look on sites like flightmemory.com you will find a remarkably large number of people who seem to have needed to fly to or from Zaporizhia. As added bonuses, there are a large number of other old Soviet era aircraft to be seen in various states of disuse at Zaporizhia airport and there is also an aero engine museum in town.

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:18 am
by northstardc4m
Jazz Air has some Dash 8s that are over 30, so does Air Creebec and probably others...

First Air, Air North, Nolinor and Air Inuit all have 30+ year old 737-200s

Some of Air Transat's A310s are over 30

We Canadian's keep our planes longer than most apparently!

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:24 am
by ryanflyer
Air Rarotonga in the Cook Islands (South Pacific) has a Saab340 LN39 that is 33 years old E5-EFS. Contour Airlines flying small operations around the United States has some Jetstream31 aircraft that are 30+, but those will be retired April 1. I just flew N310CN TUP-BNA and she was still an amazing ride.

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:26 am
by DUSdude
akb88 wrote:
OK so as a nervous flier I often get stressed when I see the age of the plane I'm on. I usually fly Icelandair 757 which are almost all around 25 years old. These aircrafts are still just as safe as anything else flying am I right?


The age of an aircraft in years is in and of itself not a terribly interesting or relevant metric. The thing that will put stress on an airframe with a pressurized cabin is the number of flight cycles and hours that the airframe is put through. There are certain criteria (expressed in total number of cycles or flight hours) that put a limit on how long an aircraft can be used economically before you start having to replace so much of the structure in order to prevent metal fatigue that it becomes uneconomical to keep it flying. Generally, an aircraft that sees very high utilization on short trips with short ground turnaround times will time out sooner (which is why you may see some relatively young A320s being scrapped). But long-haul aircraft often fly only one or two cycles per day, if that, and have very long ground times. Icelandair in particular has a weird scheduling system because they need all of their flights to arrive in KEF within the same limited time window so that passengers can make their connections between Europe and North America, because their entire business model relies on this connecting traffic. As a result their aircraft often sit for several hours at the destination before returning to KEF, because returning earlier would mean pax would wait for hours in KEF. Accordingly, their 757s, though old in years, have accumulated relatively limited cycles and are still a long ways away from being near their forced retirement. The same goes for overnight cargo carriers btw. All of their flights leave some time shortly after close of normal business hours in the local town and need to arrive at the distribution hub in the middle of the night before delivering packages to the next town before open of business. Then they sit around all day waiting for the next night's overnight shipping madness. Again, they accumulate relatively few cycles and hours compared to e.g. a Ryanair 737 that is hopping around all day with only 40 minutes ground time between flights. In other words, this is a long way of saying I wouldn't worry. :-)

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:26 am
by morrisond
northstardc4m wrote:
Jazz Air has some Dash 8s that are over 30, so does Air Creebec and probably others...

First Air, Air North, Nolinor and Air Inuit all have 30+ year old 737-200s

Some of Air Transat's A310s are over 30

We Canadian's keep our planes longer than most apparently!


The Cold preserves them..(I'm Canadian so I can say it)

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:31 am
by Thunderbolt500
A320 30 year old is wow never thought it’s been around that long

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:36 am
by ACCS300
Westjet's 767's inherited from Qantas are getting up-there, 3 are 28 years old and one is a spry 25.

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:39 am
by FlyingViking
ryanflyer wrote:
Air Rarotonga in the Cook Islands (South Pacific) has a Saab340 LN39 that is 33 years old E5-EFS. Contour Airlines flying small operations around the United States has some Jetstream31 aircraft that are 30+, but those will be retired April 1. I just flew N310CN TUP-BNA and she was still an amazing ride.


I just did that too. Flew Contour BNA-TUP-BNA 3 weeks ago. Yup the Jetstream"s are about to be retired from the US.

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:45 am
by MedFlyerArg85
Andes Líneas Aéreas from Argentina has three MD-83 in their 30's
LV-CCJ delivered to Spanair in 1988
LV-WGM delivered to Austral Líneas Aéreas in 1989
LV-BEG delivered to Austral Líneas Aéreas in 1989

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:45 am
by COEWRMSY
Comair (MN) of South Africa still has 7 737-400s in its fleet. A friend was recently on ZA-OAO which conveniently turned 30 today (first flight 3/27/89). As a side note, Kulula has one A320 and one 734 that are both almost at 30 years (29.7 and 29.8 years, respectively).

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:46 am
by aerorobnz
There are BAe146s/737s running around Peru 146s in the Philippines, 737s in Canada and Convair 580s, Metroliners and Saabs flying around on scheduled airline ops. I think there are more than you think.

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:47 am
by diverted
northstardc4m wrote:
Jazz Air has some Dash 8s that are over 30, so does Air Creebec and probably others...

First Air, Air North, Nolinor and Air Inuit all have 30+ year old 737-200s

Some of Air Transat's A310s are over 30

We Canadian's keep our planes longer than most apparently!


First Air got rid of their 737-200's a few years ago, but they do have a few ATR42's over 30, and a few more coming awfully close, and their 737-400's are getting awfully close too, delivered between 1991 and 1994 to KLM/BA

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:50 am
by Cunard
Thunderbolt500 wrote:
A320 30 year old is wow never thought it’s been around that long


First flight of the A320 was on the 22 February 1987 that was over 32 years ago, the first A320 entered commercial service with Air France on the 18 April 1988, that's nearly 31 years ago!

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:02 am
by northstardc4m
diverted wrote:
northstardc4m wrote:
Jazz Air has some Dash 8s that are over 30, so does Air Creebec and probably others...

First Air, Air North, Nolinor and Air Inuit all have 30+ year old 737-200s

Some of Air Transat's A310s are over 30

We Canadian's keep our planes longer than most apparently!


First Air got rid of their 737-200's a few years ago, but they do have a few ATR42's over 30, and a few more coming awfully close, and their 737-400's are getting awfully close too, delivered between 1991 and 1994 to KLM/BA


Yes I apologize it's the ATRs over 30 on the First Air list... the oldest 737-400 is 27.

Through their desired merger partner Canadian North has 3 over 30... 2 approaching 40 quite quickly.

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:04 am
by Cunard
777PHX wrote:
KLM has a couple 744s that are 29 years old. Eritrean has a 767 that's 34 years old. Air Canada has a few 767s over 30. AC and LH both have a few A320s that are knocking on 30. DL has a few 757s still active that are closing in on 30 this year too.


Eritrean Airlines no longer have the single B767 I'm not sure of it's whereabouts, the airline's current fleet consists of just two aircraft.

B733 EY-539 age of aircraft is 31.5 years
B733 UR-CNF age of aircraft is 26.5 years

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:07 am
by shaner82
DUSdude wrote:
akb88 wrote:
OK so as a nervous flier I often get stressed when I see the age of the plane I'm on. I usually fly Icelandair 757 which are almost all around 25 years old. These aircrafts are still just as safe as anything else flying am I right?


The age of an aircraft in years is in and of itself not a terribly interesting or relevant metric. The thing that will put stress on an airframe with a pressurized cabin is the number of flight cycles and hours that the airframe is put through. There are certain criteria (expressed in total number of cycles or flight hours) that put a limit on how long an aircraft can be used economically before you start having to replace so much of the structure in order to prevent metal fatigue that it becomes uneconomical to keep it flying. Generally, an aircraft that sees very high utilization on short trips with short ground turnaround times will time out sooner (which is why you may see some relatively young A320s being scrapped). But long-haul aircraft often fly only one or two cycles per day, if that, and have very long ground times. Icelandair in particular has a weird scheduling system because they need all of their flights to arrive in KEF within the same limited time window so that passengers can make their connections between Europe and North America, because their entire business model relies on this connecting traffic. As a result their aircraft often sit for several hours at the destination before returning to KEF, because returning earlier would mean pax would wait for hours in KEF. Accordingly, their 757s, though old in years, have accumulated relatively limited cycles and are still a long ways away from being near their forced retirement. The same goes for overnight cargo carriers btw. All of their flights leave some time shortly after close of normal business hours in the local town and need to arrive at the distribution hub in the middle of the night before delivering packages to the next town before open of business. Then they sit around all day waiting for the next night's overnight shipping madness. Again, they accumulate relatively few cycles and hours compared to e.g. a Ryanair 737 that is hopping around all day with only 40 minutes ground time between flights. In other words, this is a long way of saying I wouldn't worry. :-)


What's interesting about that is when I fly Nolinair or Air Inuit, we fly across the country and stop at every major airport along the way (it's always a charter flight). In talking to employees of both companies, that's pretty much their entire business model. They do a lot of short flights, often with numerous stops along the way, yet their planes are among the oldest in the country. Makes me wonder if the planes sit on the ground most days (seems like that wouldn't be profitable so I can't see that) or despite the maintenance requirements of an old plane that does nothing but short haul flights, they keep flying them anyway.

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:16 am
by Bhoy
One of Loganair's Twin Otters, G-BVVK, still flies Pax almost daily to the Beach Runway on Barra, and is 39 years old - originally delivered to Widerøe in Feb 1980, it's been with Loganair since December 1994.

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:38 am
by vhqpa
In Iceland Norlandair still fly 40+ year old Twin Otter's in RPT service. Last year I flew on a 1975 production making it 43 years old.

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:44 am
by MRYapproach
LRGT wrote:
FWIW, AA has 1 MD-80 that's 30, but the rest of the active fleet is only 20

Could that be the only 30 year old bird flying regular passenger service that's NOT a 757/767/A320?


Wow, maybe I'm used to seeing old AA MD-80s in US airports for...pretty much forever. But they seem ancient. I know I'm being hyperbolic, maybe it's the polished aluminum fuselage and the old school livery, but AA MD-80s scream "early days of commercial aviation" to me. MD-80s are pretty much the only current US airliner that makes me nervous. Watching YouTube I can see that pilots love them, and their track record is fine.

I flew UA's second oldest 777 in 2018. Older than most AA's MD-80s at 25. And loud as hell. Myabe it's all my trans-ocean experience in 777s, but I never was nervous in that old cattle car.

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:09 am
by Max Q
Does Iran Air still fly their 747 Classics ?

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:18 am
by 1989worstyear
Thunderbolt500 wrote:
A320 30 year old is wow never thought it’s been around that long


I must still be 15 years old then :cheeky:

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:06 am
by N649DL
To add, UA has a few PS 757s still in operation that were built in 1989

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:23 am
by opticalilyushin
Max Q wrote:
Does Iran Air still fly their 747 Classics ?


all are retired, though the last flying passenger 747 classic is with Mahan Air: EP-MND

A couple of years ago i flew 3 scheduled passenger flights on a 51 year old DC-9-14

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:21 am
by fbgdavidson
MRYapproach wrote:
I flew UA's second oldest 777 in 2018. Older than most AA's MD-80s at 25


United's second 777 was delivered in June 1995, so you were a few years short of 25 if you flew it last year.

Maybe I'm just odd but age of aircraft really doesn't bother me in the slightest. If the cabin is as rough as a badger's arse that's a different story, but aircraft that are well aged are generally on their second or third cabin interior so it can be more pleasant to fly than a 10yr aircraft that is looking a bit worn on the inside with it's initial interior cabin. I still remember flying on 744s when they were a new aircraft and some of BA's have recently been refitted with large PTVs with decent resolution and refreshed interiors, they feel like new aircraft.

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:28 am
by crownvic
This week I flew on two 30 year old acft between J'oberg and Capetown.. a Global Aviation A320 ZS-GAW first delivered to Braniff in 1989 an aircraft substitution for a Kulula flight. On the return it was a Kulula 737-400 ZS-OAP delivered new in 1989...

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:54 am
by AlexA340B777
Trans Maldivian Airway operates Twin Otters in daily service between the airport island in Male MLE and the holiday resort islands, some of them are over 50 (yes, fifty) years old.

The oldest one I was flying personally is 8Q-MBC, that frame has been flying over 50 years as well, delivered in January 1969:

https://rzjets.net/aircraft/?reg=252973

Those might be the oldest planes flying in regular PAX service today I guess.


edit: link updated

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:26 am
by bgm
Delta has 13 MD88s that are more than 30 years old (904/5/6/7/8/10/11/12/13/15/16/17/22), the oldest currently being N904DL which was delivered in March 1987.

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:39 am
by conaly
LRGT wrote:
I know there are a TON of 30 year old A320's with Air Canada and Lufthansa in regular service.


Actually, not a single aircraft at current LH's fleet has reached the 30-year mark yet. They do have quite a lot planes with 25 years or more, but the only aircraft, that could achieve the 30 years in service are five A320 delivered in late 1989 and those will leave the fleet in 2019 according to current planning. So maybe we won't even see any 30+ aircraft at LH at all.

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:01 pm
by readytotaxi
In the UK holiday company JET2 operate 10 B757's and most of them are over 30yrs young.

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:27 pm
by smallmj
Some of those northern Canada 737-200s are still in service because the newer versions aren't equipped for gravel runways.

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:33 pm
by LRGT
MIflyer12 wrote:
LRGT wrote:
I know there are a TON of 30 year old A320's with Air Canada and Lufthansa in regular service.


It's what people think they know - but don't - that gets them into trouble.

According to planespotters.net, AC's oldest active 319/20/21 is from Jan. 1990.

LH's oldest 319/20/21 is from Oct. 1989.



These will be 30 in a few months (AC’s first A320 hits 30 in 4 months, and LH in 8 months), and there are fairly large numbers of them in the fleets at LH & AC that are currently 27-30 years old.

There are 28 A320’s active with AC that are 27-29.7 years old.

There are 21 A320’s active with LH that are 27-29.3 years old.

I highly doubt these will all be retired in a couple months before their 30th birthday. Especially Air Canada ones. MAX groundings may mean ones slated for retirement at their next D-check, may get that D-check and fly for 8 more years!

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:58 pm
by Mortyman
ryanflyer wrote:
Air Rarotonga in the Cook Islands (South Pacific) has a Saab340 LN39 that is 33 years old E5-EFS.


Flown on their Saab and Embraer EMB-110P1 Bandeirante. How old are their Embraer EMB-110P1 Bandeirante's ?

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:04 pm
by zakuivcustom
Not quite 30 years old, but Alliance Airlines (of Australia) has some fairly old F100. The oldest, VH-XWM (MSN 11276), was delivered in Jul 1989 (so it's about 29.8 y/o), with a few other (VH-XWN/XWO/XWP/XWQ) that are 29+ y/o. Those F100s of Virgin Australia Regional (formerly Skywest...the one in Australia, that is) are not that new, either.

Granted, Alliance Air has more of a charter operation, so I don't know if it can be count as "scheduled passenger service".

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:05 am
by Loran
Colombia's DC-3s must be the oldest ones flying schedules, operating out of Villavicencio (VVC).
Built around WW2, so 75-80 years old.



Regards,
Loran

Re: 30+ Year Old Aircraft in Scheduled Passenger Service

Posted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:51 am
by CanadianNorth
There are no more 737-200s flying in the Air North fleet. The only gravel runway Air North regularly flew the 737 from was paved this spring and so the last serviceable -200 was sold. There are still the first two 737-200s on the property but they are long retired and are used for spare parts and slowly being scrapped. They didn't have main deck cargo doors or gravel kits installed and were retired several years ago as the -500s came into the fleet.

Anyways, back to the topic...

Flying jets at Air North there are one 737-400 and four 737-500s, all 1992-1993 builds 26-27 years old, so not there yet but at least some of them will likely see 30.

Two of the three ATR 42-320s in the Air North fleet are currently 30 years old, one built in late 1988 and the other in early 1989. The third is a 1991 build only 27 years old.

There are also still two active HS-748s in the fleet, one combi built in 1970 - 49 years old and one freighter built in 1978 - 41 years old.

All perfectly safe as long as they are maintained as per the manufacturer's instructions. Just about any transport category aircraft 30+ years old you can fly on these days you can safely bet money that most of the components such as engines, landing gear, and about a million other things would have been replaced several times over since the airplane was new, the structure gets inspected at regular intervals and all defects are noted and repaired, and the cockpit and cabin have probably been upgraded at least a couple of times by now. Any nervous fliers out there can PM me for more details if you are interested.