Delta sends B777 into early retirement, Emirates cuts 30% of A380s

The Boeing 777 has consistently served as the long-haul international workhorse for Delta Airlines.  The carrier's B777-200LR (longer range) has long operated the Altanta-Johannesburg route, which is the only nonstop route between the U.S. and South Africa.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Delta has just formally announced the retirement of its entire B777 fleet, phasing out all 19 aircraft by the end of the year.  This is in addition toe Delta's announcement last month to accelerate the retirement of its entire MD-88 and MD-90 fleet.


Delta has flown the B777 since 1999, but the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on both public health and the travel industry has proven too costly for the survival of many wide-body jets.  Emirates, who is by far the largest operator of the double-decker A380, is presumably decommissioning 30% of its A380 fleet.  Emirates' President Sir Tim Clark recently stated that the era of the “A380 is over”, and that smaller capacity efficient planes such as the B787 and the A350 will be the aircraft of the future.


The pandemic has already sent a number of carriers into bankruptcy, including Avianca, which is the second oldest airline on the planet.  The carriers that are still standing are all bleeding through cash, and will need to continue relying on government bailouts to stay in business.  The carriers will also need to adopt by cutting unprofitable routes and larger aircraft as ridership may never return to "normal".


Quick thoughts

It's sad to see many of the iconic wide-body jets never take to the skies again.  But the carriers need to adapt or die, and retiring larger wide-body aircraft in the midst of record low ridership is a viable option.

From all of us at Flying for Fitness, please stay healthy during this trying time.  We hope you enjoyed this post.  Please consider visiting one of our sponsors by clicking on the advertisements.  Our sponsors pay us for customer visits and help us to keep the lights on.  Thanks!



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