The Boeing 717 is making a triumphant return to Los Angeles International Airport, thanks to Delta Air Lines.
If you're not obsessed with aviation, you probably don't care. But Boeing built only 156 of these aircraft between 1999 and 2006, with more than half of them going to Air Tran Airways, now part of Southwest Airlines. You may remember that Boeing merged with McDonnell Douglas in 1997, so this aircraft originally was designed as the MD-95. The MD-95 was to be a newer version of two previously popular aircraft, the DC-9 and and MD-80, which is why it may look familiar to you. Perhaps of interest to our West Coast readers, the aircraft were built by Boeing in Long Beach, California.
Anyways, Delta reached an agreement in 2012 to take 88 717s from Southwest, which no longer wanted them. They have mostly been flying for Delta on the East Coast.
But now, some of them are coming to Los Angeles. Please, try to contain your excitement.
In June, according to a discussion at airliners.net, two LAX routes will receive the 717 -- Portland, Oregon and Las Vegas. Delta's 717s have 110 seats in two classes, with a reasonably comfortable 2-3 configuration in economy class. Delta is generally using the 717 to replace regional jets, as the airplane, like regional jets, has relatively short range.
I don't think LAX currently has any regular Boeing 717 flights, though I am sure my readers will current me if I'm wrong.
What do you think? Are you pleased to see Delta shift some 717s to Los Angeles?
Also, if you want to read something amusing, check out this 1998 Los Angeles Times story detailing TWA's order for 50 717s with 50 options. How quickly things change in the airline industry.