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More Fleet Retirement Flights Coming: Delta Announces 777 Retirements

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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.


Delta made a rather surprising announcement this morning: the airline is retiring its fleet of Boeing 777s.

“The retirement will accelerate the airline’s strategy to simplify and modernize its fleet, while continuing to operate newer, more cost-efficient aircraft,” Delta said.

The 777s should be retired just as 2020 comes to an end. This after so much controversy over the past few years when Delta first refreshed the interiors without Comfort+ seats only to bring those “mods” back in and redo them again with Comfort+!

“With international travel expected to return slowly, we … made the difficult decision to permanently retire our Boeing 777 fleet – 18 aircraft – by the end of the year,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a published memo to employees. “Our A330s and A350-900s, which are more fuel-efficient and cost-effective, will perform long-haul flying as international demand returns.”

Rows 30 and 31 on a Delta Air Lines 777-200ER are seen before a flight from Paris (CDG) to Los Angeles (LAX). Seats 30A, 30B, 31A, 31B, and 31C in the Comfort+ cabin are pictured.
Rows 30 and 31 (port side) on a Delta Air Lines 777-200ER are seen before a flight from Paris (CDG) to Los Angeles (LAX).

So this means Delta will retire at least four types of planes this year:

  • MD-88
  • MD-90
  • 777-200ER
  • 777-200LR

I say “at least” because who knows if Delta will announce more aircraft retirements this year? (The Boeing 717s might be shifting anxiously in their chocks right about now.)

The timing is certainly unfortunate for #AvGeeks wishing to enjoy a plane’s last ride. The upside to the 777 retirement flights, though, versus the Mad Dogs’ farewell flights, is that by the end of the year, it will perhaps be safer to fly again for fun.

I’m curious about what Delta will do with routes such as Atlanta to Johannesburg and Los Angeles to Sydney. Those flights fall short of the A350-900’s published range. But by the time international travel is “back” in several years, perhaps there will be something bigger, better, and more fuel-efficient.

— Chris

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.


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7 Comments

  1. Barry Graham Reply

    I saw the news release earlier today. Every time I see the words “Delta” and “retirement” in the the same e-mail hope it’s also going to have “CRJ100/200”. No such luck today either!

  2. We’ll not wait nearly that long. Our old normal will resume within a few weeks and we won’t accept any so called “new normal”. We’ll be back to the normal we’ve enjoyed before this hoax. We expect international flight to resume to normal levels within a few months as long as the populace doesn’t listen to the hyped media bs and uses reasonable logic and real science.

    • WOW. FIRST, THIS IS NOT THE PLACE FOR YOU TO POST POLITICAL BIAS WHICH IS OF COURSE PURELY FICTIONAL.
      SECONDLY, CHANGE TV CHANNELS AT HOME AWAY FROM THE PROPAGANDA NETWORK.

    • Barry Graham Reply

      I am against many instances of overreaction to the situation because of media generated panic. However I know enough people that have become seriously sick and that have died from this, much more than you would normally except to be suddenly getting ill or dying, to know this is no hoax.

  3. Oh well…..never much of a fan of them anyway unless I got Delta One but would never gamble on it that much unless had confirmed upgrade otherwise looked for 767 if using GUC as always traveling with my wife and like the 2-3-2 configuration better.

  4. Well let’s hope that Delta adds C+ to the A350 as they did to the 777 retrofit. The small addition to legroom was nice on longer international flights & they were free for DM.
    Otherwise if you are DM grab that exit seat the day you book!

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