The Final Finnair MD-11 Flight and the Photos We’ll Miss
Upon arriving in Helsinki at the conclusion of flight AY022 from Delhi on Monday, Finnair’s last passenger MD-11 will be retired from service, ending nearly 20 years of service as a long-haul workhorse in the Finnair fleet. The Helsinki-based carrier became the first airline to inaugurate passenger service with the widebody trijet back in 1990: Operating a flight to Las Palmas, the MD-11 was state-of-the-art at the time, being a technologically advanced, heavily upgraded version of the venerable DC-10.
Efficiency and modernization were the reasons for retirement of the MD-11 and its replacement with newer Airbus A330 and A340 models. In addition to using less fuel, the new Airbus planes work well in terms of commonality with the A320 family of aircraft that currently serve the short-haul needs of Finnair. The Airbus duo will serve as the sole members of the long-haul fleet until supplemented by the Airbus A350, which will tentatively enter service with Finnair in 2015.
Finnair has not ruled out the possibility of using the two MD-11 aircraft that it still owns for cargo operations; however, both are available for sale. Passenger-carrying examples of the MD-11 are still operating, the most noticeable example being KLM with a still-strong MD-11 passenger fleet.