Tag Archives: McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83)

American Airlines donates the last 2 McDonnell Douglas MD-80 aircraft

American Airlines has made this announcement:

After retiring the last of its McDonnell Douglas MD-80 fleet to Roswell, New Mexico, in early September 2019, American is donating the last two MD-80 aircraft to CareerTech in Oklahoma City, and Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois. The airline will ferry the first of the donated planes to Will Rogers World Airport (OKC) today. The other aircraft will be ferried to Lewis University Airport (LOT) Friday.

The donations to the two schools provides aviation maintenance students the opportunity to gain practical experience by working on a commercial aircraft.

CareerTech

With the MD-80 donation, CareerTech can expand aviation workforce preparation from a statewide level to the entire CareerTech system. The aircraft will be used to train students in maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) operations, and the corresponding curriculum and training materials will be utilized at all CareerTech technology centers that provide aerospace training.

Lewis University Aviation and Transportation

The MD-80 donation helps Lewis University Aviation and Transportation develop a new generation of training as it provides an updated avionics package and broadens opportunities for students to earn more Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificates. All 700 current Aviation and Transportation students will use the MD-80 at some point in their studies, however, it will primarily be used by nearly 200 students in the Aviation Maintenance Management program.

American’s MD-80 in 2020 and beyond

American retired its remaining fleet of 26 MD-80 aircraft Sept. 4, 2019 to Roswell. The MD-80, also known as the Super 80, was the workhorse of the airline’s fleet throughout the 1980s and beyond.

Photo: American Airlines.

Two aircraft remained at the airline’s Base Maintenance facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Today, aircraft N9621A will depart from the base to Will Rogers World Airport (OKC) in Oklahoma City. On Friday, Dec. 20, aircraft N501AA will depart to Lewis University Airport (LOT) in Romeoville. These will be the final two flights for American’s Super 80 fleet. Special dedication ceremonies at both schools will be held in early 2020.

American has donated eight MD-80 aircraft to educational causes. The others include:

  • 2015: Oklahoma State University School of Engineering in Stillwater, Oklahoma
  • 2013: Tulsa Air and Space Museum in Tulsa
  • 2011: Tulsa Tech in Tulsa
  • 2011: Museo del Nino (Children’s Museum) in San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • 2010: G.T. Baker Aviation School in Miami
  • 2009: Miguel Such Vocational School in San Juan

American’s commitment to STEM initiatives

American participates in initiatives that help introduce students to STEM careers in aviation. The airline recently invited students from W.H. Adamson High School in Dallas to tour the airline’s maintenance hangar at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. The tour gave more than 25 students an opportunity to learn more about the operation and see how STEM professions play a vital role in aircraft maintenance.

The airline has facilitated other maintenance hangar tours for students at Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Tulsa International Airport. Additionally, American’s Line Maintenance team at Los Angeles International Airport partnered with Project Scientist Academy and Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum earlier this year as part of an initiative that supports aspiring young aviators from Compton, California.

American tentatively plans the last McDonnell Douglas MD-80 revenue flight for September 4

American Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N980TW (msn 53630) BWI (Ron Monroe). Image: 946751.

American Airlines is tentatively planning the last McDonnell Douglas MD-80 revenue flight for September 4, 2019.

The special flight, renumbered flight AA 80, is scheduled to operate between Dallas/Fort Worth and Chicago (O’Hare).

American currently operates one DC-9-82 (N501AA) and 27 DC-9-83s. The carrier operated 362 at its peak.

The MD-80 fleet was never repainted in the new livery because of the pending retirement.

Top Copyright Photo: American Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N980TW (msn 53630) BWI (Ron Monroe). Image: 946751.

American Airlines aircraft slide show:

Videos:

Allegiant retires the last MD-80, is now all-Airbus

Type Retired: November 28, 2018 (flight AAY 3 FAT - LAS with N417NV)

Allegiant Air yesterday (November 28, 2018) retired its last McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82/83/87 and MD-88 (MD-80 series) from revenue service as it retraced its first route between Fresno and Las Vegas.

The aircraft landed at Las Vegas at 3:29 pm PST and received a water cannon salute at LAS ending an era for the company.

The pictured (top) McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N417NV flew flight AAY 3 from FAT to LAS.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Allegiant Air McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N417NV (msn 53347) LGB (Michael B. Ing). Image: 907039.

Allegiant aircraft slide show:

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Allegiant Travel Company releases its third quarter 2018 financial results, the last MD-80 to be retired after Thanksgiving holiday period

Allegiant Air McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N411NV (msn 53245) RDU (Ton Jochems). Image: 944220.

Allegiant Travel Company (Allegiant Air) has reported the following financial results for the third quarter 2018, as well as comparisons to the prior year:

Three Months Ended September 30, Nine Months Ended September 30,
Unaudited 2018 2017 Change 2018 2017 Change
Total operating revenue (millions) $ 393.1 $ 350.2 12.3 % $ 1,255.3 $ 1,132.0 10.9 %
Operating income (millions) 26.2 44.3 (41.0 ) 180.4 203.9 (11.5 )
Net income (millions) 15.1 23.4 (35.2 ) 120.4 114.8 4.9
Diluted earnings per share $ 0.94 $ 1.45 (35.2 ) $ 7.45 $ 6.99 6.6

“We are proud to announce our 63rd consecutive profitable quarter,” stated Maurice J. Gallagher, Jr., chairman and CEO of Allegiant Travel Company.  “Our transition to an all-Airbus fleet is nearly complete.  Our decision to move the transition up by a year from 2019 to 2018 has proven to be an excellent one given the higher fuel cost environment.  Compared to our all-MD-80 fleet from 2010, we expect our ASMs per gallon to increase by almost 40 percent in 2019, from 59 ASMs per gallon to the low 80s.

“This has been a busy couple of years across the Company as we transitioned our fleet.  Since the end of 2016:

We will have purchased and inducted 43 Airbus aircraft, while retiring 47 MDs.  We will have trained more than 350 Airbus pilots and 300 maintenance technicians as well as our flight attendants, ground staff and other operations personnel by the time we fly the final MD-80 flight at the end of November.

We have grown the Company 20 percent in capacity (ASMs), adding 51 routes and carrying 13.6 million passengers during the last twelve months, an increase of 1.64 million passengers over 2016.

We have dramatically improved our operations.  Since last October, we have led the industry in monthly completion factor six times and have been among the top three except for a few months.  Our on-time performance is improving nicely as well; this September we were up ten percentage points in A14, from 72 percent to 82 percent.

“I couldn’t be more excited about where we are at this point in our history.  As we outlined in our Sunseeker Resort investor day, we are ready for Allegiant 2.0.  Stay tuned!

“Needless to say, we couldn’t have accomplished this difficult transition without our great group of team members.  They have done an amazing job this quarter – as well as over this entire past year – with the highly complex effort to transition our fleet and improve our operations.  Hats off to the entire team for their tireless professionalism in any environment.”

Shareholder returns

  • 2018 shareholder returns – over $33 million in the first three quarters of the year through dividends
    ° Will pay dividends of $0.70 per share on December 5, 2018 to shareholders of record as of November 23, 2018

2018 outlook

  • Fourth quarter scheduled and system ASMs are expected to grow between four and six percent vs last year
    ° The remaining MD-80s will be retired immediately after the Thanksgiving travel period
  • 2018 full year ASM growth is expected to be between 9.5 and 10.5 percent
  • 2018 full year tax rate is expected to be between 18 and 19 percent
  • 2018 full year average fuel cost is expected to be $2.38 per gallon using the forward curve as of October 23, 2018
  • Due to several one-time maintenance events, 2018 maintenance per aircraft per month is expected to be between $90 and $95 thousand
  • 2018 EPS is expected to be between $9 and $10 per share even with the higher than expected fuel cost
Guidance, subject to revision
Full year 2018 guidance Previous* Current
Fuel cost per gallon $2.35 $2.38
Available seat miles (ASMs) / gallon 77.5 to 78.5 77.5 to 78.5
Interest expense (millions) $50 to $60 $50 to $60
Tax rate 21 to 22% 18 to 19%
Share count (millions)  15.9  15.9
Earnings per share $9 to $10 $9 to $10
System ASMs – year over year change 9 to 11% 9.5 to 10.5%
Scheduled service ASMs – year over year change 9 to 11% 9.5 to 10.5%
Depreciation expense / aircraft / month (thousands) $115 to $120 $115 to $120
Maintenance expense / aircraft / month (thousands) $80 to $85 $90 to $95
Full year 2018 CAPEX guidance
Capital expenditures (millions) ** $300 $300
Capitalized Airbus deferred heavy maintenance (millions) *** $45 $45
Sunseeker CAPEX
2018 year to date (millions) $15
Project since inception (millions) $46

* – Previous guidance as of July 25, 2018
** – Excludes Sunseeker Resorts
*** – Not included in capital expenditure total

Aircraft fleet plan by end of period
Aircraft – (seats per AC) 1Q18 2Q18 3Q18 YE18
MD-80 (166 seats) 32 27 19
A319 (156 seats) 26 31 31 32
A320 (177/186 seats) 30 35 43 44
Total 88 93 93 76

Aircraft listed in table above include only in-service aircraft, planned retirements and future aircraft under contract (subject to change).

Top Copyright Photo: Allegiant Air McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N411NV (msn 53245) RDU (Ton Jochems). Image: 944220.

Allegiant aircraft slide show:

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PAWA Dominicana remains grounded

PAWA Dominicana McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) HI989 (msn 49568) MIA (Jay Selman). Image: 403404.

PAWA Dominicana (Santo Domingo) lost its ability to fly on January 28, 2018. The Junta de Aviación Civil – JAC announced it was revoking the country’s version of the Air Operators Certificate (AOC) for 90 days due to its financial situation.

This suspension of the AOC stranded a lot of passengers. The Dominican government has been chartering other aircraft to fly out the stranded passengers.

The airline issued this statement (translated from Spanish):

PAWA Dominicana informs all its passengers that the operations of our airline are suspended pending the disposition of the Dominican authorities.

We invite our passengers not to show up at the PAWA Dominicana counters at the airports, as they are kept closed. We continue working together with these authorities seeking a solution to this situation and we regret the inconvenience this causes to thousands of passengers.

PAWA Dominicana will be reimbursing airline tickets to affected passengers in the coming weeks, after which they process their request.

Copyright Photo: PAWA Dominicana McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) HI989 (msn 49568) MIA (Jay Selman). Image: 403404.

PAWA Dominicana aircraft slide show:

Allegiant reports its 3Q results, will now retire its last McDonnell Douglas MD-80 by the end of 2018

Allegiant Air McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N884GA (msn 49401) BWI (Tony Storck). Image: 939690.

Allegiant Travel Company (Allegiant Air) has reported the following financial results for the third quarter 2017, as well as comparisons to the prior year:

Three Months Ended
September 30,
Nine Months Ended
September 30,
Unaudited 2017 2016 Change 2017 2016 Change
Total operating revenue (millions) $ 348.8 $ 333.5 4.6 % $ 1,125.2 $ 1,026.9 9.6 %
Operating income (millions) $ 42.9 $ 76.8 (44.1 )% $ 201.0 $ 302.4 (33.5 )%
Net income (millions) $ 22.3 $ 45.5 (51.0 )% $ 112.4 $ 178.3 (37.0 )%
Diluted earnings per share $ 1.39 $ 2.75 (49.5 )% $ 6.85 $ 10.73 (36.2 )%
Return on capital employed* 14.7 % 24.8 %

* – see appendix for calculation, represents twelve months ended September 30

 

“Lastly, our board of directors approved a more aggressive retirement plan for our MD-80s. We now plan to retire our last MD by the end of 2018. This is one year earlier than was previously expected. A hearty ‘thank you’ goes out to the members of our fleet team, who through hard work were able to source enough used A320 aircraft to make this happen. This is the end of an era for our company. The ‘80’ has been critical to our success and growth for the past 15 years – it will be missed.”

Notable highlights

  • Operational improvements – 61 percent reduction in controllable cancellations in the quarter
  • Airbus growth – Added five A320s and one A319 into revenue service during the quarter
  • MD-80 retirements – Retired five MD-80s during the quarter – remainder expected to be retired by the end of 2018
    ◦ MD-80s and related assets have a net book value of $42 million and are being reviewed for impairment
  • Sunseeker Resorts – In August, announced plans to develop a hotel/condo resort in Charlotte County, Florida
  • Network growth – As of September 30, 2017 the company is operating 373 routes versus 337 last year
  • New aircraft base – Announced Indianapolis, Indiana as an aircraft base to support the growth in that area
  • Shareholder returns – $11 million was returned through its recurring dividend paid in September 2017. The company:
    ◦ Will pay dividend of $0.70/share on December 5, 2017 to shareholders of record as of November 22, 2017
    ◦ Has share repurchase authorization of up to $100 million

Third quarter 2017 revenue

  • TRASM results – Third quarter TRASM increased 0.7 percent in spite of:
    Increased MD-80 spares during the quarter, which resulted in a three percent decline in peak period capacity
    Hurricane Irma:
    ▪ Approximately two percent of scheduled ASMs for the quarter were canceled
    ▪ TRASM – Expected benefit from reduced ASMs – offset by refunds and decreased demand to Florida

Fourth quarter 2017 revenue trends

  • TRASM guidance – Expect a decline between three and 0.5 percent which is influenced by:
    ◦ Hurricane Irma and the Las Vegas mass shooting
           ▪ Approximately 80 percent of fourth quarter ASMs touch Las Vegas or Florida
    ▪ So far a decrease in demand during fourth quarter
    ▪ Impact on fourth quarter TRASM expected to be approximately between 3 and 3.5 percentage points
    ◦ Peak period flying – Fourth quarter peak capacity expected to increase nine percentage points

Third quarter cost

  • Third quarter CASM ex fuel increased 16.7 percent versus the same period last year, primarily driven by:
    ◦ Transition costs added four percentage points to increase, including:
    Reduced ASMs from fleet transition through lower utilization of MD-80s
    ▪ Other operational inefficiencies driven by the transition to an all Airbus fleet
      ◦ New pilot agreement – Added one percentage point
    Incremental depreciation from additional Airbus aircraft – added three percentage points
    Elimination of the credit card surcharge product
    ▪ January 2017 discontinued credit card surcharge which had offset sales and marketing expense
    ▪  Added four percentage points in quarter
    Hurricane Irma – Added almost two percentage points due to flight cancellations

Fourth quarter 2017 cost trends

  • Fourth quarter 2017 CASM ex fuel is expected to increase between seven and nine percent, primarily driven by:
    ◦ Transition costs – Expected to add three percentage points to increase, including:
    Reduced ASMs from fleet transition through lower utilization of MD-80s
    ▪ Other operational inefficiencies driven by the transition to an all Airbus fleet
      ◦ New pilot agreement – Expected to add one percentage point due to increased benefit costs
    Incremental depreciation on additional Airbus aircraft – Expected to add two percentage points
    Elimination of credit card surcharge – Expected to add three percentage points

Full year 2017 cost trends

  • Full year 2017 CASM ex fuel
      ◦ Expected to increase between eleven and twelve percent
    ◦ Previously guided range of plus ten to twelve percent
  • Maintenance and repairs expense
    ◦ Expected between $105 and $110 thousand per in-service aircraft per month for 2017
    ◦ Previously guided range – between $100 and $110 thousand
  • Total ownership expense per aircraft per month
      ◦ 2017 ownership expense per in-service aircraft – between $125 and $130 thousand per month
    ◦ Previously guided range between $125 and $135 thousand

Balance sheet activity and full year 2017 trends

  • Full year CAPEX guidance is expected to be $604 million, versus prior guidance of $525 million
    ◦ Higher amount driven by expected commitment for five additional Airbus A320 aircraft in the fourth quarter
    ◦ Excludes Airbus heavy maintenance and Sunseeker resort
  • Raised $158 million in debt proceeds during the third quarter
    ◦ Includes monies drawn from existing $56 million revolving credit facility
    ◦ Seven Airbus aircraft remain unencumbered at end of third quarter
    ▪ Includes one new A320 which was collateralized in October

Copyright Photo: Allegiant Air McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N884GA (msn 49401) BWI (Tony Storck). Image: 939690.