Delta Retiring All Boeing 777s By Fall 2020

I’m sad to see the 717s going away, it’s such an iconic plane, and smooth plane. It was a great creation by McDonell Douglas

Delta’s 777 retirement has been accelerated again. Instead of the end of 2020, they’ll be retired by Fall 2020.

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Really just unbelievable, that’s the only way I can describe it. :(

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The Delta 777 is such an iconic aircraft. It’s exactly like their 747 retirement.

RIP Delta 777

😔

I wouldn’t really put it past them though to just make the offer, because a free upgrade is a free upgrade 🤷🏻‍♂️

I suppose Delta could also have some plans to make some ultra long hauls, perhaps Atlanta to Australia or something, I mean sure it would be out of left field, but there aren’t a lot of US Airlines reaching out very far. Some of United’s Singapore routes are up there, but the top tier of ultra long haul flights is definitely dominated by airlines outside the US despite more than half of the top ten going into the US, and I don’t see that changing…

There are a few things I want to speak to and unpack. The “free upgrade” is not without tradeoffs, the ULH has a deactivated front cargo hold, so Delta would be trading one type of flexibility (Cargo space) for another (range). I wouldn’t be surprised to see Delta push for another type of upgrade as I’m not sure if they would be willing to give up cargo space.

In terms of the lack of ULH flying from U.S. Carriers, I would propose that the lack of flight is not due to a lack of willingness but a lack of need. Keep in mind both UA and DL had a significant amount of operations in NRT up until a couple of years ago. There is no need to do point-to-point flights when you can flow everyone through the NRT scissor-hub between the hours of 16:00 and 19:00 local time. AA did not have a strong presence in Asia up until the mid-2010s especially when compared to DL and UA.

In addition, the United States is big, you can shave 5 hours from a flight by flying from a different coast. Foreign carriers do not have the luxury of relying on domestic connections. If they want to serve LAX, they are better off flying non-stop of LAX whereas UA/AA/DL have the ability to persuade people to make a short connection at JFK and vice versa. This reduces the amount of ULH (read: expensive) flying the Big 3 carriers have to do. That being said, they will fly ULH if the demand exists (see: UA’s EWR-HKG, DL’s ATL-JNB).

Over the past several years, things have changed, Delta closed their NRT hub (along with their NRT flight kitchen sniff), UA has scaled back their NRT-Asia operations to an extent, and AA has started to focus on Asia and started to develop new markets. New routes include UA’s SIN-SFO flight, AA’s DFW-HKG flight, and DL’s short-lived SEA-HKG flight. The Big 3 are dipping their toes into the ULH waters, but they will still prefer to connect passengers through a coastal hub unless there are some very compelling commercial arguments for the alternative.

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This is very sad to hear about Delta retiring the Boeing 777s. Why did Delta have to do this?? The 777 is a very reliable plane for airlines everywhere.

@Mr.Oof Apparently they’re burning through at least $50 million everyday and have to retire the less fuel efficient & higher maintenance cost planes. COVID-19 has done a lot of damage to airlines :/

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You’d think they’d chosen to retire 767 and some 757s, this is a surprise.

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If you look to the grand-scheme of things, Delta retiring their Boeing 777 aircraft was a smart decision, as opposed to them retiring their Boeing 757 & 767 aircraft.

As of now, Delta has a total of 205 Boeing 757s and 124 Boeing 767s. That’s quite a large number compared to the 18 Boeing 777-200ER (8 aircraft) and Boeing 777-200LR (10 aircraft). It only makes sense to retire the 777 as they can be replaced by the Airbus A350-900, which can fly most-to-all of the 777 operated routes. Delta is slowly retiring their 757 and 767 fleet, but it will be hard for them to do so as they still need those aircraft, and they don’t have the best replacement yet.

Their replacement would’ve been in the form of Boeing’s proposed NMA aircraft (or 757-X and 767Plus, whatever they want to call it), but those plans have since been put on hold due to the MAX issue and the global pandemic. It’s sad that Delta has to say goodbye to their 777s, but it’s not such a bad trade when the A350 offers better fuel economics (up to 21% reduction in fuel burn).

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Quoting @Aniket_Joglekar here

“Actually now that I think about, I wouldn’t mind getting rid of the B777s painted in the new United colors, just keep the old paint job”

I agree. I am not a fan of the new United colors. I liked the gold, white and blue. This new livery just doesnt sit well with me.

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Pretty sad that Delta Airlines had to retire their B777’s just to survive.

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Delta’s latest 10-Q filing confirms all 777s will be retired by October 2020.

In the June 2020 quarter we retired our MD-90 fleet, seven 767-300ER aircraft and 10 A320 aircraft and will retire our 777 and 737-700 fleets by October 2020.

Additionally, Delta has already retired 6 777s while the other 12 remain active.

image

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What’s the difference between red and green?

Red looks to be an aircraft fleet that decreased in the number of active aircraft in June compared to March and green is an increase in active aircraft.

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That’s sad. Cincinnati being de-hubbed. 😭. I know how it feels to have your local airport de-hubbed.

That’s pretty sad that the 777-200 is the major workhorse for the airlines of the US since its first flight in 1994 and first operated by United Airlines in 1995. The 777-200s (including the 200ERs) have been operated for many years until their retirement as they are being replaced by newer, more fuel efficient airliners such as the A350s, B787s, A330neos etc.

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