In a document sent Wednesday to the US stock market policeman, the SEC, Delta said that this measure was aimed at « better aligning our network with the drop in demand resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, making our fleet more efficient and more modern and save money ».
After announcing for the next month the early retirement of its last McDonnell-Douglas MD-88 and MD-90, the American company has taken an additional measure to align the needs of planes to the expected demand: it has announced May 14, 2020, that the departure of its ten 777-200ERs and eight 777-200LRs by the end of the year « will accelerate the strategy » of fleet simplification and modernization, « while continuing to operate newer aircraft and more profitable ”. More specific details on when the 777 will exit the fleet will be disclosed « at a later date ».
Delta Air Lines recalls that the Boeing 777-200 entered the fleet in 1999 with a total of 18 aircraft today, including 10 of the long-range variant 777-200LR delivered since 2008. At the time, the aircraft « Was particularly well placed to fly non-stop between Atlanta and Johannesburg, South Africa, Los Angeles to Sydney and other distant destinations. »
The SkyTeam alliance company will then operate as wide-body aircraft for the 767-300ER (currently 55) but above all the Airbus A350-900 « which consume 21% less fuel per seat than the Boeing 777 they will replace » (13 delivered out of 39 expected), A330-900 neo (5 out of 37), A330-300 (31) and A330-200 (11). Since the start of the health crisis, Delta has grounded more than 650 aircraft from its main and regional fleets to « adjust its capacity to meet reduced customer demand ».
« We are making strategic and cost-effective changes to our fleet to respond to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic while ensuring that Delta is well-positioned for recovery in the face of the crisis, » said Gil West in a statement. , Chief Operating Officer of Delta Air Lines. The 777 « has been a reliable part of Delta’s success since joining the fleet in 1999 and, due to its unique operating characteristics, has opened new non-stop, ultra-long-haul markets that only it could fly to. that time, « he added.
— Clément Alloing (@CAlloing) May 14, 2020