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Less than 6 years to fly Delta’s 747 – I will miss them!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Boeing Delta 747 Atlanta ATL airport Mileage Run Delta Points travel blog rene MKE to LAX (3)

Back in November I blogged about the days of Delta flying the 747 are numbered. This week, Aviation Week put out a piece that Delta is looking to replace them before 2020. They say:

“Delta currently has 16 Boeing 747-400s in the fleet, the oldest of which have been delivered in 1989 (to what was then Northwest). The airline is looking at replacing them before the next D-checks are due towards the end of this decade.” – Aviation Week

Delta had unloaded all it’s old 747’s before the merger and has not gone out and looked for any “new old” ones to add or replace what they have.

When Delta retires the last 747 I will shed a tear and more. Also, what will Delta do for advertising since the 747 is featured on almost every ad they ever put out!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrQO5KqUsjQ

Noteworthy to me towards the end of the Aviation Week piece was the need for something just slightly bigger than the 717’s they are getting from AirTran and flying now. Delta, and it’s regional partners, fly lots of CRJ700 & 900’s and the new C- Series apparently has caught the eye of Richard Anderson. If they do buy them I would expect similar seats as we see in the jets, that is the new slim line Zodiac/Weber 6801 seats we have been seeing on most of the refits.

I have only been on one 787 Dreamliner flight but I do wish Delta would consider them but I doubt that is going to happen any time soon. What do you think is Delta’s best choice for the 747 replacement? – René
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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.

16 Comments

  1. Nothing can ever replace a 747. Iconic. Sexy. Now, it’s probably a poor plane to fly from a business perspective. But, I sure love to look at it. I really don’t feel a difference in flying a 747 vs. 777 or similar widebody while on the plane, even on the top deck. So, from a flying perspective I won’t miss it. But, dang, it is one sexy plane to see on the runway.

  2. I would be happy if they replaced it with an A380, but I just don’t see DL doing that. Over the past 8 years I’ve been on those 747s to Asia (first NW then DL) and many times the upper deck was only half-occupied, especially for mid-week flights. They seem to like the 777, I wouldn’t be surprised if they bought a few more (although 787 or A350 would also be interesting). Don’t forget, NW was the launch customer for the 747-400, so those birds are quite old.

  3. flyerdude88 Reply

    Given their recent purchase habits – it wouldn’t surprise me to see them try and pick up a few 772s or 773s from carriers as they transition to the 777X at the end of the decade – or alternatively look for a sweetheart deal from Boeing to buy 772s or 773s during the transition period for reduced prices (thereby enabling Boeing to keep the production line on until the 777X is on line)

  4. I don’t know if it is the best choice for Delta, but the choice will be the A350.

  5. The 747-8 would be my choice. Of course delta won’t do that. More likely the 777X. Anything but the A380.

  6. LarsErikNYC Reply

    I have to say I agree 100% with Cory, and it’s the REASON why – as you said – Delta continues to feature it so often and prominently in its advertising.

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  8. As we all know Delta has positioned itself in a strategic way to get the best possible deals on new airplanes. I think for the 747 replacement aircraft Delta will buy the 777-300er, and take delivery of all of them before 2020. As far the 767’s i would love to see them replace them with the 787-9 and 10.

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