Delta to Retire Boeing 777s by Year-End

Delta has decided to retire its 18 Boeing
777s by the end of 2020, accelerating the airline’s
strategy to simplify and modernize its fleet.

“We’re making strategic, cost-effective changes to
our fleet to respond to the impact of the COVID19 pandemic while
also ensuring Delta is well-positioned for the recovery on the
backside of the crisis,” said Gil West, Delta’s Chief Operating
Officer. “The 777 has been a reliable part of Delta’s success
since it joined the fleet in 1999 and because of its unique
operating characteristics, opened new non-stop, ultra-long-haul
markets that only it could fly at that time.”

Delta Boeing 777 reg: N701DN. Picture by Steven Howard of Click to enlarge.

Last month, Delta announced plans to accelerate
the retirement of the MD-88 and MD-90 fleets to June.

 Since the
onset of the COVID19 situation, Delta has parked more than 650
mainline and regional aircraft.

The Boeing 777-200 first entered the fleet in 1999
and grew to 18 aircraft, including 10 of the long-range 777-200LR
variant, which arrived in 2008.

 At the time, the aircraft was uniquely
positioned to fly non-stop between Atlanta and Johannesburg, South
Africa, Los Angeles to Sydney and other distant destinations.

Delta will continue flying its fleet of Airbus A350-900s, which burn 21% less fuel per
seat than the 777s they will replace.

Despite a reduction in international passenger
travel, the 777 fleet has been the workhorse of Delta’s cargo,
mail and U.S. citizen repatriation operations amid the pandemic.

 Since late April, the widebody jet has flown dozens of trips from
Chicago and Los Angeles to Frankfurt to deliver mail to U.S.
military troops abroad; operated between the U.S. and Asia to
deliver thousands of pounds of critical, life-saving supplies to
aid in the COVID19 response; and carried thousands of U.S.
citizens back to the U.S. from Sydney, Mumbai, Manila and other
cities around the world.

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