Business
12:02 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Delta to Fly Final DC-9 Flight

Delta Air Lines will fly the last scheduled passenger flight on a DC-9 Monday afternoon, ending a nearly half-century run for an aircraft credited with bringing jet service to most small and medium US cities.

This DC-9 was delivered new to North Central Airlines in 1978. Thanks to airline mergers, it was absorbed by Republic then Northwest.  In 2008, Delta inherited the aircraft when it merged with Northwest.
This DC-9 seen at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport was delivered new to North Central Airlines in 1978. Thanks to airline mergers, it was absorbed by Republic then Northwest. In 2008, Delta inherited the aircraft when it merged with Northwest.
Credit Jim Burress / WABE News

Delta was the launch customer for the Douglas DC-9 back in in 1965.

In the early '90s, the Atlanta-based airline sold its fleet to smaller carriers.  

Many of the planes found their way to Northwest Airlines.  When Delta and Northwest merged in 2008, Delta suddenly found itself back with the model.

But the DC-9’s age and gas-hungry engines mean Delta’s moving on once again.

That saddens 30-year flight attendant Robin Barnes.

“I like the places they go—they tend to go to smaller cities," she said before a working recent flight to Akron/Canton.  "I like the people that go there and live there, and it’s just been a fun plane.”

The final passenger DC-9 flight is numbered 2014.  It departs Minneapolis for Atlanta Monday afternoon.

Cargo and some international airlines will still operate the DC-9.