US carrier Delta Air Lines has retired its MD-88, also known as Mad Dog, and MD-90 aircraft from US fleet due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

On 2 June, Delta’s MD-88s and MD-90s flew their final scheduled flights. The jets headed to Blytheville, Arkansas, for their retirement.

The final MD-90 flight numbered as DL90 arrived in Atlanta from Houston while the final MD-88 flight, DL88, arrived from Washington-Dulles.

The carrier initially planned to retire the twin-engine MD-88s at the end of this year and the dual engine, medium-range commercial aircraft MD-90 by the end of 2022.

However, the collapse in global passenger operation inflicted by the pandemic has prompted Delta to ground more than 600 planes and retire a number of its older jets early.

These aircraft have served as ‘workhorses’ for Delta’s domestic network. The airline had 47 MD-88s and 29 MD-90s operating as of February.

With this announcement, Delta became the last US airline to operate the planes.

US carrier American Airlines retired its MD-80 fleet last September.

Last month, Delta revealed plans to retire its Boeing 777 fleet by the end of the year as part of its cost reduction measures.

In April, the carrier announced system capacity reductions by 85%, including domestic capacity by 80% and international by 90% for the June quarter due to Covid-19 challenges.