Allegiant Air phasing out MD-80 for Airbus
SANFORD, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Allegiant Air has flown their last MD-80 flights at Sanford-Orlando International and all of the airports they service.
The discount airline completed a multi-year phase out of the aging airplanes with a final flight last week. Allegiant will now operate an all Airbus fleet. According to the company, the switch began in 2012.
Embery-Riddle professor Lew Westbrooks said the MD-80s are being widely phased out throughout the airline industry. First introduced in 1979, the planes have aged out of efficiency, and he said are often plagued by mechanical issues leading to flight delays.
"People make schedules based on us [the industry] and it's incredibly important to our business model to make sure that we meet that schedule for everyone,” said Westbrooks.
Westbrooks said the Airbus also runs more fuel efficiently than the MD-80 and includes a handful more seats, he hopes, aiding in keeping flight prices low for the carriers.
Most major US airlines have now phased out the MD-80 with reports of American and Delta working to do so as well.