The Roswell International Air Center on Tuesday, Aug. 23, became the temporary retirement home for 20 American Airlines jets the company flew in as the McDonnell-Douglas-80 models are removed from American’s fleet. The planes will be stored at the air center as American Airlines determines the future of each one, which for some could include uses such as removing parts for use on other planes in the fleet or refurbishing the jets for sale to smaller airlines.
The planes were flown into Roswell from locations throughout the country, with some of the planes landing five minutes or less behind the previous arrival and then lining up to begin preparation for storage, which is being handled by AerSale, an aviation business based at the air center.
The oldest MD-80 in American’s fleet was one of the first to arrive. That plane was put into service in 1986 and has carried some 3.6 million passengers. As America Airlines continues to retire this model of plane, additional MD-80s are expected to be stored at the Roswell air center.