Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) yesterday (January 6) as planned and previously announced, operated its last DC-9 flight. The pictured McDonnell Douglas DC-9-51 N773NC (msn 47775) (above) and crew had the honor of operating the very last DC-9 revenue flight as flight DL 2014 between Minneapolis/St. Paul and Atlanta.
With the cold temperatures in both MSP and ATL there was not the traditional water cannon salute.
N773NC was originally delivered to North Central Airlines on October 26, 1978. With the merger with Southern Airways it became Republic Airlines on July 1, 1979. With the Republic merger into Northwest Airlines it took on the red tail on October 1, 1986. Finally it joined the Delta fleet on October 29, 2008 with the Delta-Northwest merger.
Delta operated 13 DC-9-51s in January up to the last flight operated by N773NC. Five DC-9-51s were retired in 2013, six in 2012 and 10 in 2011 according to Airliners.net. One DC-9-51 will be reserved for a museum. Delta is reportedly holding on to two DC-9-51s as spare aircraft for a few days while the newer Boeing 717s replace the DC-9-51s. The other DC-9-51 will end up in the desert where they will be broken up for the parts and the recyclable metal.
Read the full story from the Associated Press: CLICK HERE
Read the full story from Time: CLICK HERE
In other news, Delta is expanding the number of routes served by the new Boeing 717. The airline is introducing the 717 from Atlanta to Augusta (April 1), Chicago (Midway) (April 1), Dallas (Love Field) (October 13), Fayetteville (April 1) and Houston (Bush Intercontinental) (April 1) per Airline Route.
Top Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-51 N773NC (msn 47775) faithfully served four airlines right up to the last flight. N773NC arrives at MSP.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. The Boeing 717 started operating to Baltimore/Washington (BWI) yesterday (January 6) with the DC-9-51 retirements. Delta painted the first ex-AirTran Airways Boeing 717 in September 2013, namely the pictured N935AT, which is pictured arriving at BWI. Delta is leasing the entire AirTran fleet of 88 Boeing 717s from Southwest Airlines (Dallas). The new type was introduced on September 19, 2013 between the Atlanta hub and Newark. The DL 717s feature 12 seats in First Class, 15 seats in Economy Comfort and 83 seats in Economy. N935AT was originally delivered to TWA as N402TW on April 11, 2000.