Delta Grounds 600 Aircraft & Accelerates MD-88/90 & 767 Retirement

Absolutely crazy how devastating the impact is affecting airlines…

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Delta has announced numerous actions to protect their financial position:

These actions include:

  • An overall capacity reduction in the next few months by 40%, which is the largest capacity reduction ever in Delta’s history, surpassing 9/11.

  • For 30 days, Delta will completely suspending flights to Continental Europe except for London.

These are the transatlantic routes Delta was previously set to operate this month:

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Instead, Delta will only operate these once-daily flights:

  • Atlanta to Amsterdam
  • Atlanta to London-Heathrow
  • Atlanta to Paris-Charles De Gaulle
  • Detroit to Amsterdam
  • Detroit to London-Heathrow
  • New York-JFK to London-Heathrow
  • New York-JFK to Dublin

Delta will ground 600 aircraft as the reduced capacity requires a smaller fleet.

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This means Delta will likely ground a majority of their widebody fleet such as the 777s, A350s, and A330neos as they have the most capacity and a large portion of their international long-haul network will be suspended.

Delta will also accelerate the retirement of the MD-88s/90s and older 767s.


Delta will defer new aircraft deliveries to manage their reduced capacity and preserve cash.

Currently, Delta has these aircraft on order:

  • 14 A220-100s
  • 50 A220-300s
  • 27 A321s
  • 100 A321neos
  • 32 A330-900neos
  • 16 A350-900s

All of these aircraft variants are set to be delivered this year and onward, so any of them could be deferred.

Additionally, Delta will also:

  • Reduce capital expenditures by at least $2 billion for the year, including delaying aircraft mods, IT initiatives and other opportunities to preserve cash.
  • Immediately offer voluntary short-term, unpaid leaves as well as an immediate hiring freeze.
  • Substantially reduce the use of consultants and contractors.

Delta’s Press Release: https://news.delta.com/ceo-ed-bastian-delta-takes-further-steps-protect-our-customers-employees-and-business

From Delta CEO Ed Bastian:

We’ll be making more critical decisions on our response in days to come. The situation is fluid and likely to be getting worse. But what hasn’t changed is this: Delta remains better-positioned to weather a storm of this magnitude than ever before in our history. We’ve spent a decade building a strong, resilient airline powered by the best professionals in the business. We will get through this, and taking strong, decisive action now will ensure that we are properly positioned to recover our business when customers start to travel again.

"In light of these developments, I’m foregoing 100 percent of my salary, effective immediately, for the next six months."


It’s insane how much aviation is being impacted. Unfortunately it’s getting worse every day, with more cuts coming from every airline. As of now, Delta has announced the largest capacity cuts out of any U.S. airline

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Yikes this is going downhill quickly. Hopefully the industry rebounds soon, but more importantly the virus is contained soon.

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It really is. It’s like the worst nightmare and you don’t know when it will get better.

I hope that the situation will stabilise around summer and that we will see quick measures to ensure the economic isn’t failing in the meantime. Very shocking numbers in this post.

While this isn’t the news I want to hear, still thanks for sharing @Ishrion!

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I hope these cancellations don’t affect CLT. Me be depressed if they close the Overlook bc of this @Butter_Boi

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Hope they don’t, that would be unfortunate.

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@Ishrion does this mean MD-88s/90s will be retired early?

It is possible. Currently no news on that but the TPG article mentioned that could happen.

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Starting Monday, Delta will operate one daily flight between the following cities:

  • Atlanta to Amsterdam
  • Atlanta to London-Heathrow
  • Atlanta to Paris-Charles De Gaulle
  • Detroit to Amsterdam
  • Detroit to London-Heathrow
  • New York-JFK to London-Heathrow
  • New York-JFK to Dublin

Other continental Europe routes are suspended.

New York to Mumbai has been suspended as well.

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This is really bad!

Did they say what aircraft they are grounding?

Out of TPA, Delta does TPA-AMS on a 767 1x a day and as well out of Orlando

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Luckily same with swine flu many countries are peaking. This is a great sign.

As the great Aerosmith put it “Dream on” And as the legendary Journey put it “Don’t stop Believin’”

Isiah 41 - “Be strong!” … So do not fear , for I am with you ; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you ; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand"

This is a wake up call to all airlines. We have to realize that this may happen again. Luckily, because of this airlines may be prepared in the future.

As a Delta employee this has been a bit of a rough day. I hope that all my brothers and sisters working in the airlines weather the storm ok. Happy to answer any potential questions but also do not have many answers at this time.

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Stay strong. Prayers are with you.

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Good on the CEO, I’ve seen smaller percentages from competitors.

Delta in the Asia Pacific market also cancelled Seattle- Beijing, Detroit- Beijing, Seattle- Shanghai Pudong, Detroit- Shanghai Pudong, and so on.
Hainan Airlines cancelled Beijing- San Jose, Beijing- Chicago, Beijing- Boston, Beijing- Seattle, Changsha- LAX, Chengdu- LAX, Chongqing- LAX, Chengdu- JFK, Chongqing- JFK… … so on and so forth.

Supposed to fly Delta in 10 days. Not looking to good. Beside the fact, very interesting to see how Delta is making changes so soon to stay in a decent financial situation.

Well, here in Europe it’s just getting worse in the Moment, but yes, in China it seems to get better, so there’s some hope!

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Not gonna happen - its gonna take months if not years for not just airlines, but the global economy to recover from the impact this virus has caused…

Best believe my guy. And dont worry it is gettting better Italy is starting to peak and lower. Stay strong.

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