Market Presence. The MD83 experienced its heyday in the late 1980s and early 1990s. While values started to stumble more than 20 years ago, availability only became a major issue 15 years ago. Even before production ceased in 1999, the MD83 was already facing severe pressure from the A320 and the then even newer B737-800. Even the retirement of B727s in quantity could not prevent a slide in fortunes. Instead the MD80 series, including the MD83, became a target for replacement. Concerns over performance capability, the long thin fuselage, absence of wider family, deteriorating operating economics all took their toll on what had become a mainstay of many fleets. The takeover of the then TWA MD83 fleet by American Airlines provided some respite in terms of stalling a rise in availability but more recent events have once again increased the acceleration in the rollover of existing units in favor of newer types. There continue to be some 169 as being in airworthy condition with a great many in storage. Some 50 percent are registered in the U.S. but the Middle East and Latin American carriers still operate a number. There are still a surprising 60 operators of the MD83 although not all are being either operated or used in a commercial role. The operator base of the MD83 may remains relatively extensive but there can be no hiding the concentration and indeed the propensity of such carriers to seek replacements.
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