Premium #184 – Does Delta’s old aircraft strategy make sense?

In the US, Delta is famous for its decision to keep old aircraft flying, and has purchased second hand aircraft into its fleet. The most prominent of recent purchases include the 717 and the MD-90. We, like others, have thought that this strategy may have economic limitations. After all, older aircraft are less fuel-efficient and incur higher maintenance costs. The key is where those trade-offs break even, and how rapidly costs grow.

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