Delta Set To Retire Its Entire Boeing 777 Fleet This Year

Delta Airlines has issued a statement on Thursday stating that the airline would no longer fly the Boeing 777 aircraft. 


Delta Set To Retire Its Entire Boeing 777 Fleet This Year
Delta to retire all Boeing 777s ths year Photo: Delta Air Lines

Delta has planned to retire all of its 18 Boeing 777s by the end of 2020 along with other older high-maintenance and less efficient jets. Delta will have a younger, more cost-effective, fuel-efficient and more flexible long-haul fleet after the retirement of its Boeing 777s.




The retirement will also accelerate the airline's strategy to simplify and modernize its fleet, while continuing to operate modern, more cost-efficient aircraft.



Delta Set To Retire Its Entire Boeing 777 Fleet This Year
Delta has 18 Boeing 777s in its fleet Photo: Getty

Regarding this move, Delta's Chief Operating Officer, Gil West said:


"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."




"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."


The Boeing 777-200 first entered the Delta's fleet in 1999. Delta has been operating both the -200 and -200LR in its fleet. Altogether, Delta has 18 Boeing 777s in its fleet, including 10 of the long-range 777-200LR variant. These -200LR variant entered in the fleet in 2008.



Delta Set To Retire Its Entire Boeing 777 Fleet This Year
Delta's 777-200LR operates the 10th longest flight to South Africa Photo: Delta Air Lines



Delta's Boeing 777s were operating flights from the US to destinations including Tokyo, Seoul, Sydney and Paris. The -200LR variant was also used to fly non-stop between Atlanta and Johannesburg, South Africa along with Los Angeles to Sydney.


According to the airline, this retirement of 18 Boeing 777 jets, along with the MD-90 planes, by the end of this year would result in second-quarter non-cash impairment charges of $1.4 billion to $1.7 billion, before tax.



Delta Set To Retire Its Entire Boeing 777 Fleet This Year
Airbus A350s will replace the Boeing 777s Photo: Airbus



Delta said that it will continue to fly long-haul flights using Airbus SE's more fuel-efficient and next generation A330 and A350-900 wide-body aircraft, when international demand returns. 


Airbus A350-900, will replace the Boeing 777s. The Airbus A350 burns 21% less fuel per seat than the Boeing 777s.


This retirement of the 777s will also mean a sharp drop in the number of premium economy and Delta One Suites in the fleet. All 18 of them were refitted with four-class arrangement with the newest and best seating products.



Delta Set To Retire Its Entire Boeing 777 Fleet This Year
Delta's 777 features the popular Delta One Suites Photo: Delta Air Lines



The Delta One Suite is widely considered as one of the best business class products in the sky, and it was the first business class product with a door between Australia and the US.


Both the flagship Delta One Suites along with Delta's Premium Select product, were widely popular among the passengers.



Delta Set To Retire Its Entire Boeing 777 Fleet This Year
Delta's Premium Select product is also widely popular Photo: Delta Air Lines



Delta's Chief Executive Officer, Ed Bastian, regarding this decision said:


"Our principal financial goal for 2020 is to reduce our cash burn to zero by the end of the year, which will mean, for the next two to three years, a smaller network, fleet and operation in response to substantially reduced customer demand."


According to CNBC, Delta's CEO told its employees about this decision stating:


"Retiring a fleet as iconic as the 777 is not an easy decision - I know it has a direct impact on many of you who fly, crew and service these jets."



Delta Set To Retire Its Entire Boeing 777 Fleet This Year
Delta is burning $50 million in cash each day Photo: Getty



Currently, Delta is reported to be burning $50 million in cash per day. The specific date of the retirement will be disclosed later.


What do you think about this decision? Have you ever flown one of these jets? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below:

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