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Delta Retiring 777's

Press release linked below. Delta only has 18 777's, and clearly they think the need for long-range wide-body aircraft will stay depressed long enough that they can get by with their other aircraft types and (eventually) taking new deliveries. This also does not bode well for their view of the near to mid-term future of international travel loads in general.

I understand the economics of it; newer aircraft types are more efficient. But I'm sad to see this--the 777 in general is one of my favorite aircraft, and Delta had resisted the urge to shove in an extra seat in each row of the Main Cabin. This meant they were some of the most comfortable economy seats left flying.

https://news.delta.com/deltas-777-aircraft-retire-end-2020-simplifying-widebody-fleet-amid-covid-19

Posted by
148 posts

I agree with the OP, this is a stunning development that speaks volumes about Delta's dim outlook for long haul international flights. Clearly they are not thinking this market returns in months, but in years.

Posted by
2017 posts

Delta started refurbishing its 777 fleet in 2018. Delta went against the grain and, as Eric alluded to above, kept it's economy seating in a 9-across pattern instead of going to a 10-across pattern like pretty much every other airline, defying the notion that all airline executives are trying to make the flying public miserable by cramming as many seats on a plane as possible.

Posted by
1231 posts

Not surprising in the current situation, with only 18 it is an odd aircraft in their fleet and retiring them earlier will help Delta a bit financially. And while it will leave Delta with a lot less long haul capacity they have A350s in their fleet and several more on order. And if demand picks up faster they might be able to adjust the delivery schedule.

Posted by
5541 posts

Mentor Pilot video about Delta 777 specifically and the airline industry economics in general:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_sPsTN5mPU

Delta Airlines CEO yesterday sent out a letter confirming that the
company will be retiring its 18 Boeing 777 at the end of 2020. This
came as a bit of a shock for the industry who had seen Delta upgrade
its B777 fleet for hundreds of millions of dollars, indicating that
the Aircraft would be in service for many more years. This is the last
in the series of announcements regarding the overall downsizing of the
aviation market in the United States and in the world in general. I
think we can expect many more dark headlines during the coming weeks
as the airlines are hurrying to adapt their fleets and employee sizes
to account for the dramatic drop in demand that this Crisis have
unleashed.