Air Transport World

MD-90 delivery lifts Douglas hopes. (McDonnell Douglas)

LONG BEACH - "This MD-90 delivery is testament to the fact we have what it takes to survive in a down cycle." So said Walt Orlowski, McDonnell Douglas vice president and general manager-marketing & business development, speaking at the delivery of the first production MD-90 to launch customer Delta Air Lines.

News of the SAS rejection of Douglas's MD-95 bid was just a few days old when the first MD-90 was handed over, producing a relatively serious mood among Douglas officials, including Orlowski, who said: "The Douglas Aircraft Co. is absolutely committed to staying in business for the next 75 years." Douglas is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Douglas's confidence surely was shaken when the expected MD-95 launch order instead launched the competing Boeing 737-600. Nonetheless, the start of MD-90 deliveries after a fairly trouble-free development program, the updating of the twinjet production line and the progress assembling the nonflying MD-95 development prototype lifted Douglas spirits and hopes. …

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