U.S. airlines are grounding 512 aircraft this fall. As the Middle Seat blog at the Wall Street Journal points out, that’s as many aircraft as Northwest Airlines owns. In terms of capacity, we’re losing a major airline.
Of course this means fewer seats, higher fares, etc, etc. We all saw that coming.
What’s more interesting, at this point, is which jets are being grounded. They are disproportionately smaller, regional jets. And even among the mainline jets leaving service, there are very few wide bodies.
Northwest Airlines is of particular intertest because it must fit its fleet into Delta’s after their upcoming merger. So it’s not surprising that the Northwest plans to drop 33 of its aging DC-9’s. It’s just surprising that it’s not dumping all of them.