Delta to retire Boeing 777 fleet

Aviation Updates Philippines – To further reduce costs and expenses, Delta Air Lines will be simplifying its wide-body fleet through the permanent retirement of the 18-strong Boeing 777 fleet by end of 2020. 

“We’re making strategic, cost-effective changes to our fleet to respond to the impact of the COVID-19 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,” he added.

As of May 2020, the American carrier operates a fleet of eight Boeing 777-232(ER) and 10 Boeing 777-200(LR). The ER variants were delivered from 1999 until 2000, while the LR variants were taken up from 2008 until 2010. 

The major US airline, last year, completed a $100 million fleet-wide cabin retrofit program for its Boeing 777 fleet, according to a report from Simple Flying. The new configuration features newer four-class cabins: Delta One, Delta Premium Select, Delta Comfort+, and Economy.

Recently, Delta announced the accelerated retirement of the MD-88 and MD-90 fleets, nicknamed "Mad Dogs", to June 2020 which was previously planned by year-end. The airline will continue to operate more fuel-efficient aircraft throughout the years while taking COVID-19 as an opportunity to relieve older aircraft.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, Delta started grounding aircraft while air travel continues to decline. Around 650 mainline and regional aircraft are now grounded in the United States for Delta alone.
Delta Boeing 777