With the entire aviation industry suffering from a lack of demand for travel due to COVID-19, airlines are finding ways to slim down expenses and survive for the long-run.
For Delta, one of their solutions is retiring its fleet of Boeing 777 aircraft. The airline has 8 of the -200ER variant and 10 of -200LR. By the end of 2020, the airline will be retiring all 18 of its 777 aircraft.
Already, the airline is planning to retire its fleet of 22 McDonnell Douglas MD-88 aircraft and 5 MD-90-30 aircraft by the end of June 2020. In response to the lack of demand, nearly 75% of the airline’s fleet is also parked in airports around the world.
The 777 fleet was primarily used by Delta for ultra-long-haul routes. In addition, Delta has utilized the 777 for cargo operations and repatriation flights throughout the pandemic, such as delivering COVID-19 medical supplies and flying U.S. citizens back from abroad.
Delta’s Airbus A350-900 fleet will be serving as the replacement for the Boeing 777. The new type will allow the airline to simplify the fleet and operate a more efficient aircraft. The A350 will provide Delta with a benefit of around 21% less fuel burned per seat over the 777.