MIAMI – Delta Air Lines (DL) has confirmed it will operate its final Boeing 777 flight on October 31. DL announced in May that it would retire all 18 of its triple sevens by the end of the year. The retirement accelerates the airline’s strategy to simplify and modernize its fleet while continuing to operate newer, more cost-efficient aircraft.
The Boeing 777-200 first entered service with DL in 1999. The carrier operated a fleet of 18 triple sevens aircraft, including 10 of the long-range 777-200LR variant, which arrived in 2008.
Delta had only recently refurbished its 777s, but due to the slump in demand resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the airline decided to retire the aircraft earlier than previously planned.
Next Generation Long-haul Fleet
Delta will now rely on its fleet of Airbus A350-900 to continue its long-haul operations. The A350 burns 21% less fuel per seat than the Boeing 777 they are replacing. DL currently operates 15 A350 with a further 10 on order. The A350 entered service with DL in 2017.
Gil West, Delta’s Chief Operating Officer commented, “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.”
Fans of DL’s wide-body airliner can bid farewell on two flights at the end of October. The first, DL8787, on October 30, will operate between Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International (ATL) and Los Angeles (LAX). The second and final, DL8807, will be on October 31, from New York’s JFK to Los Angeles (LAX).
The Boeing 777 is the third aircraft DL has retired in just the last few months, having recently withdrawn its Boeing 737-700 and MD88/90 fleets.
Delta Air Lines Boeing 777-200LR at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, Australia. Photo: Delta Air Lines