MIAMI — Delta Air Lines has phased out the last domestic Boeing 767-300 aircraft from its fleet, sending it to Blytheville, Arkansas earlier today.
The 1993-delivered Boeing 767-332 (N1402A • MSN 25989 • LN 506) flew from Atlanta (ATL) to Blytheville (BYH) after having performed its last revenue trip from Salt Lake City (SLC) to ATL the previous evening, as flight DL1802.
This particular variant was the youngest 767-300s in the airline’s fleet, at 25.9 years.
The non-extended range variant wide-body was a big part of Delta’s domestic operations since it joined the fleet in the late 1980s. The first -300 airframe to be delivered to Delta was N118DL, which arrived in November 1986. After that, 14 more 767-300s were delivered before 1990.
During the 1990s, 12 more 767-300s joined Delta, becoming a transcontinental and Hawaiian workhorse. Sometimes, it was also deployed to Europe.
Curiously, Hawaiian Airlines took four of the oldest Delta 767-300s in 2006, flying for the Honolulu-based carrier until 2014.
The retirement of the 767-300s from Delta’s fleet follows the airline’s recent re-fleeting campaign that the airline has embarked on.
The Atlanta-based carrier has already taken delivery of 13 Airbus A350-900XWB, with at least a dozen more coming in over the next few years.
In addition to its new flagship, Delta also took delivery of its first Airbus A330neo last week, all the way from Toulouse to the airline’s TechOps hangars in Atlanta, where it’s being fitted with its new IFE and DeltaOne suites.
The airline will phase out its eldest 767-300s, including some Extended Range variants which are often deployed on transatlantic missions. The remaining 767-300(ER)s and -400(ER)s will be retrofitted with the carrier’s new cabin products, including the new Comfort Plus and Delta One cabins.
As of today, Delta operates a fleet of 56 Boeing 767-300(ER)s and 21 767-400(ER)s.
Delta’s frequent flyers have expressed their happiness through social media and online forums over the 767-300’s retirement, stating that its old and outdated cabins were long overdue.
The airline had fitted the plane’s Business Class cabin in a tight, 2-2-2 configuration. With the old squared overhead bins, it was certainly not a fan favorite among the airline’s frequent transcontinental travelers.
However, the plane served its purpose, operating numerous high-density flights between the airline’s main hubs in Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Minneapolis-St. Paul.
It is unclear whether Delta will replace its older Airbus A330-200/-300s with the newer 35 A330-900s that are due to come in. Reportedly, the airline will focus on replacing the Boeing 767s first, looking to standardize its international offering with the new Airbus products.
Overall, Delta Air Lines will offer its customers widebody service on a fleet of Airbus A330-200/-300/-900, A350-900, Boeing 767-300(ER)/-400(ER), and 777-200(ER)/(LR), all sporting the airline’s latest cabin offerings.
With the retirement of N1402A, the end of an era has come for Delta.