Delta Air Lines keeps transforming its fleet of aircraft primarily into Airbus models, but has decided to slow the pace of change. The U.S. airline announced last week that it will retire three older planes, the CRJ-200 regional jet in 2023 and the Boeing 717 and 767-300, but only in 2025.
The 717-200, originally known as the MD-95, was quoted to leave service after the MD-90’s retirement this year. With a small passenger capacity, the model has most of its fleet leased and was the subject of rumors of a possible negotiation with Boeing for new 737 MAX, which did not happen.
At the same time, the 767 remains of great importance to Delta even after the arrival of the new A330-900neo and A350. In addition to keeping 49 of these planes active, the company will also continue to operate 21Boeing 767-400, the largest variant in the family and which only had Delta and United as customers.
A220-300 on the way
While extending the service life of older aircraft, Delta is close to debuting a new aircraft on its domestic flights, the A220-300. The largest version of the single-aisle jet is close to being delivered to the company, which has been operating the A220-100 model since 2019. According to the Airline Geeks website, Delta included the new aircraft to start operations on November 10 in a flight between Salt Lake City and Houston.
The airline currently has 31 A220-100 in operation and will receive another 14 aircraft of the type. The order for A220-300 is slightly higher: 50 units in all.
The coronavirus pandemic has made Delta simplify and reduce its numerous fleet to cut costs. The MD-88 and MD-90 and the 737-700, which was retired this month, have already stopped flying. The Boeing 777, in turn, is due to be taken out of service next month. The goal, according to company executives, is to have only eight jet families in service.