Breathe it in. Can you odor it? That “new airplane odor”? Not all airways have it. In fact, even with the airplane getting increase of the previous handful of several years, some airways continue to run fleets so outdated, you can practically flavor the mildew.

Other airways run fleets so new that the paint may perhaps not even be dry yet on the exterior, nor have the downsized seats experienced time to pop any springs. What follows is a rapid rundown of the leading 10 important U.S. airways — who has the shiniest new jets, and who’s continue to limping along on ancient airframes.

Joyful birthday, expensive airline. How outdated are you now? Image source: Getty Photographs.

We get started at the base, with …

Allegiant Air — average fleet age: 19.8 several years

In accordance to Airfleets.web, Allegiant Air (NASDAQ: ALGT) operates the oldest airplane fleet of any important U.S. airline. Allegiant’s fleet is so outdated that its most several airplanes are McDonnell Douglas MD-80s and -90s, which ceased creation seventeen several years ago. Allegiant also operates a pair of Boeing 757s (out of creation due to the fact 2004) and about five somewhat younger dozen Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft.

Delta Air Lines — average fleet age: seventeen. several years

Allegiant’s fleet even would make Delta‘s (NYSE: DAL) appear youthful by comparison — which is a neat trick, specified that Delta really flies four moments as lots of historical MD-80s and -90s as Allegiant does. Delta’s 747s are even more mature, averaging twenty five.nine several years throughout a wonderful seven of these outdated birds. Delta’s youngest jets involve 19 Airbus A321s, bought, on average, less than a calendar year ago. Your very best guess at boarding a newish aircraft, although, is by booking aboard a single of Delta’s 160 nine-calendar year-outdated Boeing 737 Next Gens.

United Airways — average fleet age: 14.three years 

United Continental Holdings‘ (NYSE: UAL) United Airways was the initially of the large “legacy” airways to get started deployment of Boeing’s novel 787 Dreamliner. It now flies 32 of these widebodies — the latest airplanes in its fleet, at an average age of just two.five several years. The airline’s future youngest aircraft design is the Boeing 737 Next Gen — 10.four several years outdated on average. United flies 340 737s — by much its most several aircraft design.

Southwest Airways — average fleet age: 11.8 years 

Contrary to the airways mentioned so much, Southwest Airways (NYSE: LUV) flies exclusively Boeing airplanes. In fact, Southwest flies just a single design of Boeing airplane — the 737. These planes arrive in both “typical” vintage (737-300s, -400s, and -500s, aged 22 several years on average) or “future era” models (737-600s, -700s, -800s, and -900s). Traveling just a single variety of aircraft built by a single one maker can help to preserve Southwest’s pilot and mechanic schooling charges reduced and cuts down on routine maintenance charges.

This is a single explanation Southwest Airways features a single of the very best gross income margins in the air company — 37.four%, in accordance to facts from S&P World-wide Marketplace Intelligence — even with operating a fleet that is genuinely only center of the pack, in conditions of age.

American Airways — average fleet age: 10.8 several years

Most likely amazingly for a “legacy” carrier, American Airlines Group‘s (NASDAQ: AAL) average airplane age is a complete calendar year younger than Southwest’s. Helping American convey its average aircraft age down have been the airline’s submit-individual bankruptcy buys of new Boeing 787 airliners (twenty five of them) and Airbus A321s (which now amount 208 — amongst the most several planes in American’s fleet).

A more dubious honor that American “features” is that it ties Delta for operating the most varied fleet of aircraft — 11 models in all. This provides American excellent adaptability in matching the “correct” size airplane to the correct route, but it likely would not do American’s routine maintenance charges any favors.

Image source: Hawaiian. 

Hawaiian Airlines — average fleet age: 10.8 years 

With only fifty one planes in its fleet, Hawaiian Airways (NASDAQ: HA) is the smallest of the “important” U.S. airways on this record. Its fleet splits pretty much evenly in between more mature Boeing 717s and 767s (15 several years-in addition), and newer Airbus A330s (aged four.two several years on average).

JetBlue Airways — average fleet age: nine.two years 

Founded by a previous Southwest exec, JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU) famously imitated Southwest’s reduced-price airline company design — but not a hundred%. Whereas Southwest flies an all-Boeing fleet, and all of a single design, JetBlue is generally an Airbus A320 shop. It also flies a fleet of 41 newer Airbus A321s (aged one.8 several years), and five dozen smaller sized Embraer one hundred ninety and 195 aircraft as well.

Image source: Alaska Airways. 

Alaska Airlines — average fleet age: 8.nine years 

Alaska Airways (NYSE: ALK) — like Southwest an all-Boeing 737 shop — is a genuinely attention-grabbing story. In conditions of age, Alaska’s 8.nine-calendar year-outdated fleet is amongst the latest in the industry, and it’s obtaining even younger as time goes by.

Previous calendar year, Alaska bid $four billion to receive rival Virgin The us. And Virgin America’s fleet, consisting fully of Airbus A320-loved ones aircraft, is even younger than Alaska’s — 7.four several years. At the time it’s totally absorbed into Alaska Air in 2019, the average age of Alaska’s fleet will drop even additional. If calculated currently, the two fleets’ ages would average out to 8.five several years per aircraft.

Image source: Frontier Airways. 

Frontier Airways — average fleet age: 7.three years 

Alaska Airways continue to would not be as youthful as Frontier Airways, nonetheless. Like Virgin The us, Frontier flies an all-Airbus fleet. Like Virgin The us, it’s a youthful a single at just 7.three several years per aircraft on average. Unlike each individual other airline on this record, Frontier is not a publicly traded organization, but privately held.

Spirit Airways — average fleet age: 6.6 several years

Previous and the very least (in conditions of age) will come Spirit Airways (NASDAQ: Help you save). Like Frontier’s, all Spirit Airways airplanes are Airbuses — A319s, A320s, and A321s. And as of currently, Spirit Airways retains the honor of operating the youngest airplanes in the country.

But before you go getting tickets on Spirit (or Frontier) primarily based exclusively on the newness of their planes, here is a pleasurable fact for you: As of the most modern Airline Top quality Ranking report, Spirit Airways no for a longer time ranks lifeless final for quality of support in The us. That “honor” has fallen to Frontier Airways, operator of the industry’s second latest fleet — which just goes to present you that newer is not usually much better.

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Abundant Smith has no situation in any shares talked about. The Motley Idiot endorses JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airways. The Motley Idiot has a disclosure policy.

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