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Delta To Retire 777s

Delta Air Lines plans to permanently retire the 18 Boeing 777 jets in its inventory by year’s end.  According to CEO Ed Bastian, Delta’s long-haul routes will be flown by the company’s AirBus 330s and A350-900s once the 777s are retired.

The decision to retire the 777s from its fleet is directly related to the drop in travel demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Earlier this year, Delta announced the retirement of its fleet of MD-88s and MD-90s.  This will take place in June.

Bastian told Delta employees, “Our principal financial goal for 2020 is to reduce our cash burn (currently $50 million per day) to zero by the end of the year, which will mean, for the next two to three years, a smaller network, fleet and operation in response to substantially reduced customer demand.  An important tool to help us achieve these goals is retiring older aircraft and modernizing our fleet as we plan for the future.”

The pandemic and the economic slowdown it caused led Delta to park more than 650 aircraft.  The airline reported that more than 41,000 employees have taken voluntary leaves of absence, and customer refunds in excess of $1.2 billion have been issued since the crisis began.