The Oldest Planes Still Flying In Commercial Service

News and notes from around the interweb:

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. I wonder what the oldest planes for commonly flown US carriers are?

    Maybe Delta 757-200 and a few A320’s, United 777-200 and 757-200, AA 737-800 and 777-200ER’s and Southwest 737-700’s?

  2. The oldest people still flying in commercial service: American Airlines flight attendants.

  3. Air Chathams, NZ, is still flying at least one Convair 580 in regular scheduled service, although it’s about to be retired. The plane dates from around 1953 or 54, originally built (probably as CV340 or CV440) and retrofitted with Allison turboprops. And a handful of airworthy DC3s are still around.

  4. I’m sure Buffalo Airways out of Yellowknife NWT Canada are still running DC3’s. Which, I believe represents the ideal passenger load factor to minimize risk from other passengers @$$holery. Check out Ice Pilot if it is still on Netflix or (?).

  5. Back when there was an NWA, I had the pleasure of flying in one of their last DC3’s.
    The crew dressed in correct period uniforms, with “stewardesses” in below-knee skirts and flight caps. The naugahide seats were huge (by current standards) and there were curtains on the windows.
    I thought I had stepped into a twilight zone episode.
    Next stop, Willoughby.

  6. The list of old airframes put most of them flying for companies located on a line from Iran through southern Asia. The exceptions were a Dash 8 flying for Swiftair (Spain, I presume), a 757 for Jet2 (UK), an A320 for Lift (South Africa), a Dash-8 for Skytrans (Australia), and, the oldest of them all, the 737-200 for Nolinor.

    Now, the post says that the 737 is ten years older than the next oldest passenger liner, but it doesn’t say why. Nor does it mention that there’s more than one 737-200 from the seventies flying passengers in Canada. The reason? The 737-200 has been certified with a gravel kit (, which you just don’t find on later 737s, A320s or most modern jets, for that matter.

  7. @Zebraitis – That’s amazing. Thanks so much for the memory. I’d love to have seen that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *