Delta retires last DC-9, oldest plane in US fleet

Delta Air Lines is retiring its last DC-9s, the oldest passenger plane in the fleet of the big U.S. airlines.

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by Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS- Delta Air Lines is retiring its last DC-9s, the oldest passenger plane in the fleet of the big U.S. airlines.

The plane that will fly Delta's final scheduled DC-9 passenger flight is 35 years old and was first delivered to North Central Airlines. A series of airline mergers brought it to Delta.
The final passenger flight is set for Minneapolis to Atlanta on Monday evening.  Delta is keeping two planes as spares for a few more weeks.
Almost 1,000 DC-9s were built. At one time they accounted for almost one-third of the fleet at Northwest Airlines, which Delta bought in 2008.
Delta is known for buying used airplanes and flying them longer than other airlines. Even Delta's DC-9 replacement is a hand-me-down - used Boeing 717s from AirTran.