The end of Delta’s Boeing 777 era

©Delta will retire its 18 Boeing 777 aircraft by the end of 2020

On Saturday October 31, Flight 8777 will mark the end of the 777 era for Delta during what has been an unprecedented time for the airline industry. The five-and-a-half hour flight from New York-JFK – Los Angeles will include special announcements and onboard treats for customers and aviation enthusiasts. Some passengers booked this final flight just for the unique experience and to be part of history.

Looking ahead, retiring the 777 fleet will accelerate Delta’s strategy to simplify and modernize its fleet while continuing to operate newer, more cost-efficient aircraft. The airline will continue flying its long-haul next generation Airbus A350-900s, which burn 21% less fuel per seat than the 777s they replace. 

“Retiring a fleet as iconic as the 777 is not an easy decision – I know it has a direct impact on many of you who fly, crew and service these jets,” said CEO Ed Bastian. “The 777 played an important role with Delta since 1999, allowing us to open new long-haul markets and grow our international network as we transformed into a global airline. I’ve flown on that plane often and I love the customer experience it has delivered over the years.” 

The Airbus A350 will replace nearly every ultra-long-haul 777 route, but the Atlanta to Johannesburg route will require a slight modification. The South Africa service will follow a new circular routing that goes from Atlanta – Johannesburg – Cape Town – Atlanta. The stop will allow for refueling at sea level before beginning the 8,130-mile trip back to the U.S., and it will add a new city to Delta’s global footprint. 

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