Last DC-10 Rolled Off Assembly Line 18 Years Ago
For those still pining over the
decision by Northwest Airlines to retire the last of its Douglas
DC-10s earlier this year, there's a new trijet carrier
waiting in the wings. Upstart United Arab Emirates carrier Kang
Pacific Airlines plans to launch operations in October at Fujairah
International Airport... and it will do so with a fleet of
The last DC-10 was produced in 1989 and still serves around the
world, usually in a freighter capacity (as seen
below.) Initiating service with an aging fleet shouldn't raise
concern, however, according to the carrier.
Kang Pacific founder Paul Kang said his first two aircraft will
be leased 20 year-old aircraft.
"When it comes to safety there are standards that the airline
will have to abide by," he said. "I wouldn't be really concerned
about safety, because there is a minimum standard and nobody is
willing to compensate for the safety standard."
"There are plenty of examples of aging aircraft operating safely
in the world," said David Kaminski-Morrow, editor at Air Transport
Intelligence. "Just look at the Northwest Airlines' DC-9 fleet,
some of which are 40 years old."
DC-10s are currently flown by an estimated 15 airlines worldwide
including Biman Bangladesh Airlines.
Proper maintenance is paramount, Kaminski-Morrow said. "As long
as the aircraft are kept in good condition, there is no reason why
they should not be able to operate in accordance with airworthiness
Karim Murad, an airline analyst at investment bank Shuaa
Capital, contends aircraft of that age are less efficient than
today's aircraft, meaning higher maintenance and fuel costs, but
that doesn't mean they're any less safe.
Kang has a maintenance contract with Lufthansa Technik in the