JAL to retire last MD-81 in September

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Japan Airlines (JAL) plans to retire its last Boeing MD-81 in end-September as part of its fleet renewal plan.

The Oneworld carrier, which filed for bankruptcy protection in January, had a fleet of nine MD-81s and received its last of the type in 1992. JAL has been gradually phasing them out of its fleet, says an airline spokeswoman.

The airline aims to switch from "low-efficiency large aircraft to high-efficiency small aircraft", and renew its fleet, as part of its restructuring plan.

JAL also plans to retire 36 Boeing 767s and 22 Airbus A300s by the end of March 2011, says the spokeswoman.

The airline filed for bankruptcy protection after running up trillions of yen in debt. It has received a government bailout to help it continue operations while undergoing financial restructuring.