Just a small piece of news: Although Northwest Airlines continues (correctly) to rely on its 35 year old DC-9s, both Aeroflot and Cubana announced orders for new airplanes this week. Aeroflot will replace its Russian-built Tupolev 154Ms with Airbus A320s. Cubana, not known for their safety or service, will replace some of its aging Soviet fleet with new Russian Ilyushin Il-96s and Tupolev Tu-204s. Fidel Castro, meanwhile, has been flying around in a 30 year old IL-62, an airplane that has been banned from landing in many countries because of its pitiful safety record.
In any case, I only brought this up because it’s somewhat amusing that certain US airlines cannot afford new airplanes, while Cubana and Aeroflot are replacing their fleets.