Another casualty of the coronavirus pandemic
By Patti Pietschmann, Travel Diva
It’s a sad day in aviation especially for those of us frequent flyers who love the comfort and grace of the Boeing 777.
Delta is retiring its entire 18 fleet of wide body jets by the end of the year. “We’re making strategic, cost-effective changes to our fleet to respond to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This also ensures 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,” West adds.
Airbus will remain in service
Delta will continue flying its long-haul next generation Airbus A350-900s. That plane burns 21% less fuel per seat than the 777s they will replace.
Other aircraft being ‘parked’
Delta is also accelerating the withdrawal of the MD-88 and MD-90 fleets to June. Since the onset of the COVID-19 situation, Delta has reacted quickly by parking aircraft. The early aircraft retirements help reduce operational complexity and cost. To date, the airline now has parked than 650 mainline and regional aircraft to adjust capacity to match reduced customer demand.
Like all airlines, Delta is constantly upgrading aircraft sanitizing procedures and onboard safety precautions. Expect more changes as aviation, and the world, goes through one of the worse pandemic in history.