Delta Airlines 777

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The demise of the 777 is bad news for the passenger experience in coach class, where Delta was among the few carriers in the world retaining the original 3-3-3 seat layout that Boeing had originally designed. The pilots of the 777 reportedly did not report the need to dump fuel to air traffic controllers. Photo: Delta Airlines. Delta stated that the airline sent 13 cleaning crews to affected schools to assist in the outside cleanup to avoid additional hazards. Furthermore, a Delta representative was present at a press conference on the incident in. Atlanta-based Delta’s 777 fleet is the highest-profile aircraft type to get the ax as Delta grounds planes and becomes a smaller airline to adjust to the drop in travel due to the coronavirus.

Airlines Delta Planes & Seat Maps Delta Seat Maps. Boeing 777-200ER/LR (7HD) Layout 2; Bombardier CRJ-100/200; Bombardier CRJ-700 (CR7) Bombardier. Delta has embarked on a full-fleet interior renovation of its 777 aircraft, with the first refreshed 777-200ER taking flight this afternoon from Detroit (DTW) to Beijing (PEK) featuring the award-winning Delta One suites, the new Delta Premium Select cabin and the widest Main Cabin seats of Delta's international fleet, among other interior upgrades.

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The coronavirus pandemic has claimed another victim in the fleets of U.S. airlines with Delta Air Lines saying that it will retire its Boeing 777s.

The Atlanta-based carrier will remove its 18 777-200s by year-end on expectations of a long and slow recovery in international travel after the crisis, Delta CEO Ed Bastian told staff in a memo on Thursday.

The move will leave Delta with a wide-body fleet made up of solely Airbus jets by next year. This includes its A350-900 flagship that features 32 of its Delta One business class suites, and the new A330-900 that the airline debuted last July.

© The Points Guy A Delta 777 takes off from Sydney. (Image via Getty Images)

“Retiring a fleet as iconic as the 777 is not an easy decision,” Bastian told staff. “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.”

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The move comes a day after the International Air Transport Association (IATA) forecast that it could be three to four years before international travel returns to pre-COVID levels.

“We would expect to see domestic air travel markets to be opening first and international markets much slower to open,” IATA chief economist Brian Pearce said on May 13. “International air travel is really dependent on a relaxation of travel restrictions.”

Related:Air travel travel won’t return to pre-coronvirus levels until 2023

Prior to the crisis, Delta flew its 777s on long-haul routes around the world, according to Cirium schedules. These include its nonstop between New York John F. Kennedy (JFK) and Mumbai (BOM) that began in December, and the only U.S. airline service to Johannesburg (JNB) in South Africa.

The wide-body jets also featured some of Delta’s newest cabins. The airline only recently finished retrofitting the 777s with Delta One suites, as well as its Premium Select premium economy seats. Delta was also the only U.S. airline to offer a spacious 3-3-3 economy layout on the planes; American Airlines and United Airlines both configure economy class on their 777s in a tighter 3-4-3 seating layout.

Delta Airlines 777 News

Delta’s 777s are the latest casualty of the coronavirus. The crisis is claiming hundreds of jets from airline fleets, including six types at American Airlines — A330s, Boeing 757s and 767s, Bombardier CRJ200s and Embraer E190s. Delta is also saying goodbye to its McDonnell Douglas MD-88s and MD-90s.

Related:The ultimate guide to Delta One Suites© The Points Guy A Delta One suite on the 777. (Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy)

Delta Airlines 777 300

Delta’s 777 decision is not a complete surprise. Evercore analyst Duane Pfennigwerth told TPG in April that the airline may retire some “oddball” aircraft in its fleet, or models that it has few of with no plans to add more. The 777s are the airline’s smallest standalone fleet.

Delta had parked 677 jets due to COVID-19 as of May 13, according to an update to staff. That includes 10 of its 18 777s as well as all of its Airbus A320s.

One jet that Delta continues to fly is the Airbus A220, a plane that is both comfortable or passengers and economic for airlines.

Related:Why the new Airbus A220 is popular with airlines during the coronavirus pandemic

Delta Airlines 777 Interior

Featured image by Alberto Riva/The Points Guy.

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