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American Airlines donates its last two MD-80 jets to technology schools

The first MD-80 with registration N9621 was ferried yesterday to Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City to join CareerTech, a career, and a technology education center in Oklahoma City.

The second aircraft with registration N501AA will fly to Illinois today to be used for educational purposes at the Lewis University Romeoville, Illinois

American Airlines retired its last MD-80s in September. The planes are currently stored in Roswell, New Mexico. The operator decided to donate the last two MD-80 jets to CareerTech and Lewis University for education.

The planes will be used there to equip aircraft technician candidates with the required skills by working on a real commercial plane.

As we look to the future of American’s Tech Ops workforce, it’s important to train the next generation of aviation maintenance students so we have a development pipeline for skilled technicians,

Kevin Brickner, senior vice president of technical operations for American Airlines said.

Just like the MD-80 inspired our own team members in their career development for more than 35 years, the aircraft will do the same for students for years to come. We are proud to partner with CareerTech and Lewis University on this donation,

Brickner added.

American Airlines has so far donated eight jets from its retired MD-80 fleet. Three of them went to the Oklahoma State University School of Engineering, the Tulsa Air and Space Museum, and Tulsa Tech.

The MD-80, which is also known as the Super 80, was the workhorse of American throughout the 1980s and beyond.

The airline began operations with the aircraft in May 1983. American Airlines served six airports (Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW); Detroit (DTW); New York City (LGA); Memphis, Tennessee (MEM); Nashville, Tennessee (BNA); and Ontario, California (ONT) with three aircraft.

The MD-80 was one of the most fuel-efficient commercial airplanes of its time. One-third of all MD-80s ever produced by McDonnell Douglas was operated by American Airlines.

The airline made its final revenue flight with the MD-80 (Flight 80) on September 4 to O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.