Pandemic: Delta Airlines Retire The Boeing 777
Delta airline’s last remaining Boeing 777 took its final flight on Saturday, 31st October 2020. The immediate retirement was prompted by the pandemic. Earlier this year we learned about Delta’s sudden Boeing 777 retirement plans, it has become the first major airline to retire the Boeing 777. The Pandemic has been a turning point for the aircraft industry seeing that other airlines crushed by it have been parking and retiring aircraft.
Delta’s complete retirement from the Boeing 777 is another hit to Boeing. The airline began flying the 777 in 1999, this airplane was part of Delta’s fleet for almost 20years and they had a total of 18 Boeing 777s, delivered between 1999 and 2010.
These commercial airplanes have flown to many exotic locations and have been a great part of the Delta Airlines fleet. Within the past couple of years, Delta spent $100million updating the interiors and reconstructing the entire airplanes. It’s clear that Delta airlines had long term goals for the Boeing 777s and would never have thought a year ago for early retirement (all thanks to the pandemic, unfortunately).
The final flight operated from New York to Los Angeles, which is normally not a route for the Delta 777. This was because the plane had flown from Mumbai to New York and was supposed to get to Victorville, California where it would be finally parked (a new home for the 777 I suppose). It had a special flight number DL8777 (obviously the last 3 numbers were no coincidence), with the first flight taking 5hr22mins and the second flight 24mins without passengers.
Airlines are retiring airplanes at much faster rates than they were previously planning to, this shows that there would be quite a lot of available secondhand airplanes in the market. Hopefully, the Boeing 777 has got a chance at other airlines.
Written by Catherine Aigbe