By Nicholas Vitolano, airwaysmag.com
On Wednesday, Delta Air Lines (DL) quietly reintroduced multiple aircraft from storage as it undergoes fleet restructuring. The SkyTeam Alliance member announced earlier in the year that the newly retrofitted Boeing 777 will be phased out in Q4 2020.
DL is also rumored to have quietly retired the fleet of 10 Boeing 737-700’s this week. The airline is looking to maximize revenue despite limited service and an overall poor financial climate.
Reintroduction of Three Aircraft
The highlight of the fleet re-introduction is a Boeing 767-400 (N825MH), which was receiving interior modifications prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of today, the aircraft is currently in Seoul (ICN) and has not been scheduled for any upcoming flights.
Delta also activated two Boeing 737 (N880DN, N382DA) that were out of service for 168 and 169 days, respectively. N880DN, a 737-900, has landed in Atlanta (ATL) and remains unscheduled for future flights. This aircraft will likely reenter service. Additionally, N382DA, a Boeing 737-800, is scheduled for daily routes out of Seattle-Tacoma (SEA).
The COVID-19 pandemic sparked massive cost-cutting efforts, and DL looked to maximize revenue on limited routes. Aging aircraft have been the victim of these trying financial times.
The Airbus A321 will likely replace the newly retired Boeing 737-700 while the Airbus A350 will do so for the phased-out Boeing 777. These fleet changes display a DL move to an Airbus dominant fleet.