2012: the beginning of MD-11 retirements


KLM withdrew its first MD-11 from service in early July and ferried it to Victorville, CA, in late July as part of a plan to completely withdraw the type from its fleet by late 2014. Two more are expected to be withdrawn in 2012, three in 2013, and four in 2014. All are expected to head to the deserts of the USA to be among the first MD-11s to be scrapped.

KLM's MD-11s are among the few that were never converted to freighters. MD-11s were much more popular as freighters than as passenger aircraft. Only 12 passenger MD-11s remain in service today with two operators - KLM and World Airways. One hundred and sixteen MD-11s were converted from passenger models, a large number considering only 200 MD-11s were built.

Despite its lack of appeal as a passenger aircraft, the MD-11 still found favor in the marketplace and took nearly 22 years after its service debut in 1990 for the first examples to finally face the scrapman.

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A Century of Aviation Week

Aviation Week & Space Technology is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. In a series of blogs, our editors highlight editorial content from the magazine's long and rich history.


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