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Delta Fleet Plans

Wed Aug 18, 1999 10:11 am

I posted this earlier but I think it needs its own topic. I talked to a DL 722 F/O for a while earlier.. got tons of info. I'd just like to give a little summary here:

777s will be sold and then orders will be placed when the MD-11s reach the end of their useful lives. Delta does not want the 777 right now. Pay issue is not a big factor.

Watch for some more orders for the 763ER and 764ER to be put on MD-11 routes as the MD-11s are moved to only the longest routes and to be put on L1011 and planned 777 routes.

They will not be purchasing anything but Boeing for a while, and will not ever buy 747s.

They are looking at all of the other models in the 737NG series and the 717 for possible orders to replace some of the 722s, the 732s, and a few of the oldest MD-88s.

757s will maintain relatively constant, with some small orders to expand capacity, freqencies, and replace the L1011 on some routes.

B737-300, MD-88, and MD-90 will stay till the end of their useful lives as passenger airliners.

They are also looking at the economic feasibilty of purchasing other regional carriers (in the way that they did ASA) and/or requesting that they buy regional jets from 30 to 90 seats.
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RE: Delta Fleet Plans

Wed Aug 18, 1999 10:40 am

Once again I would like to say that none of this is confirmed and it is possible it is true. I have sent a letter to Mr. Mullin and the Mrs. Vicki Escarra, Senior Vice-President of Operations posting my concerns as a passenger. Within the next few months it is very possible that the 777's will disappear for a short time of possibly forever. Delta is making a bad move and will suffer because of this. I know many people who would rather ride on a 777 then a 767-300ER across the Atlantic. It may be better for the company but maybe not better for the passengers. This may also bring up the issue of Delta acquiring more MD-11's, wouldn't this be a site to see.
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Delta Fleet Plans And More

Wed Aug 18, 1999 11:43 am

B737-300, MD-88, and MD-90 will stay till the end of their useful lives
as passenger airliners
I believe Delta will not keep these aircraft even though they are in good conditions. Once it buys new generation short/medium-haul airplanes, it will be a natural move to switch all the existing fleet for a matter of commonality.

Also, I understand Delta will make a bad decision if it doens't go for the 777. TWA, back in the 50s, refused to modernise its piston-planes for the new jets and still suffering today as a traditional lagged in the industry. Delta, therefore, has to make valuable use of history and experience to adapt itself to the current trends.

I remind you that Delta, somehow, is falling behind... It was the last major airline to announce a strategic-alliance, but it still haven't set a list official partners and a marketing program to sell its new product.

The fastest way to become a millionaire in the airline business is to start as a billionaire.

RE: Delta

Wed Aug 18, 1999 4:13 pm

It is sad to see my favorite airline fall like this.   I really like Delta. It probably may have been a good choice to keep the 777, but Delta couldn't because the pilots wanted more pay. Think, if Delta kept its 777s, the pilots would continue to want more pay to fly them. Either Delta would pay up, or they wouldn't. If they didn't, they could either be stingy, or may not have enough funds to do that. If they didn't have enough funds, the pilots and other flight crew could go on strike. The Union would be yelling at them and Delta would lose a considerable amount of money. They would lose a lot of employees and be in a much, much worse situation than they are now. I think the officials at Delta realized this risk and got rid of the 777. It was a good move, actually. But, still Delta nearly came close to a strike by getting rid of the 777. But, NEARLY is the key word. They would have had one if they kept the 777. Also, if they kept the 777, but were just stingy with their money, same situation. A strike and surmounting losses. It was a smart, smart move for Delta. Don't say it wasn't. I don't know about the MD-11, though. It is a thirsty aircraft, but still very young. It is only halfway through it's 20-year standard production span. Yet the airlines are getting rid of them. Delta is getting rid of the L-10s and 722s to make room for fleet modernization, which is also a good move, but it is sad to see those aircraft go.   I don't know how well the 737NG will do with Delta, there are a lot of complaints about the NG's comfort. Keeping the 757 is a good move. They are economical and reliable, as well as the 763. Delta's service may be lacking, but I tell you their management is very smart, and Delta will still be here past 2010.
By then they may have enough funds to bring the 777 back, but for now it is best left out of the fleet.

DL 604
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RE: Delta Fleet Plans

Wed Aug 18, 1999 6:21 pm

Hi!!Of course a DL PILOT is going to say that they don't need the 777. It's all apart of negotiating tactics. They don't want to be blamed for getting rid of that very nice aircraft and also for putting the company at risk. If they get rid of the 777, they may lose passengers to other airlines that prefer on 777s. That is a very popular airplane. I would assume that they may still be negotiate further about 777 pay, DL management and pilots. I also doubt I would hear Delta's CEO Mullin say that they don't need the 777 right now. The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
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RE: Delta Fleet Plans

Wed Aug 18, 1999 7:59 pm

Delta got back some TriStars stored in the desert and put them back in service after overhaul. Good though, as a L1011 is much more beautiful than an odd 777.

Regarding Delta loosing ground not purchasing 777 there will be no route that cannot be served by B767-300/400 or L1011-500/MD-11 that could by 777. Delta is definitely not missing the future by not using it. Anyway there is overcapacity on the North Atlantic trunk routes.

Also I understood that Delta is close with Air France for an alliance/cooperation. Has that not been established?
Concorde SST
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RE: Delta Fleet Plans

Wed Aug 18, 1999 11:39 pm

I’m confused and just a bit curious:

1. Why did Delta agree to buy the 777 in the first place?
2. Anybody know what the original order was for, and options if any?
3. Has any other airline pulled a stunt like this before? I mean, wanting to return a new type of aircraft after just a few months of service. Doesn’t that sound nuts?! I would think that it would be embarrassing too.
* Makes you wonder what Boeing is thinking, “Will they want to return the 767-4x too?”
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RE: Delta Fleet Plans

Thu Aug 19, 1999 12:23 am

Although the 777 is popular with aviation enthusiasts, the vast majority of people who fly are not the least bit interested in aviation. Flying is just transportation from point A to point B. Delta could easily make their L-1011s just as comfortable as their 777s by redoing their interiors with more comfortable and spacious seating, and most passengers would be very happy. Many of them would probably think they were in a new plane, like passengers did in a NW DC-9-10 I was in a couple of years ago that had a new interior. So I don't think Delta will hurt by returning older planes to service as long as they appear new to the traveling public. We, as airliner enthusiasts, would know the difference, but would anyone else?

Bob Bradley
Richmond, VA
Fly Eastern's Golden Falcon DC-7B

RE: Delta Fleet Plans

Thu Aug 19, 1999 1:35 am

As a confirmation to all this, I spoke to the president of Latin American services last week while at the Delta technical operations center. He basically told me that the dispute was approximately over, in other words, they will indeed return the 777's. He explained that even though the pilots from Delta received fairly well, the pilots argued that eventually with all payment summed up, they would have a slight downfall on payment compared with other airlines. He said that Delta could not give in for the pilot demands basically to show the pilots who is really in charge of the business...
For now one 777 is being used on the ATL-London legs while the other operates on domestic flights from ATL to Orlando. My opinion is that it really is a loss to the company because of the hi-tech equipment they are giving up, which would revert to more profit. The MD-11's will take over the intended routes.
For the other frames, I was told there were orders for 767-400/300, ERJ-145 for the regional subsidaries, 737NG (mainly 800), and if I'm not wrong 757-200. Regarding the aging fleet: 727's will eventually phase-out but not for a while. He explained that there is sufficient maintenance levels to keep the aircrafts in operation for quite a while, as hush-kits were being added while he said it,..same with MD-80's intention of staying although will be replaced in the "near" future... Lastly, although admitting 747 cost effectiveness on routes to Asia, I was told these are not on the company's intention.
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Listen To L1011

Thu Aug 19, 1999 9:22 am

L1011 hit right on the mark. 99 percent of passengers have no idea what aircraft they are on,how old the aircraft is,or the aircraft flying specs. So while a company like DL makes a decission to forgo the 777,do you think they have not done passenger polls on aircraft comfor? Of they have. A airline company does not make buying decisions due to "how a plane looks",its a business,and all decissions are based on that,business. The 767-400 stretch has widebody that is well known and liked by many passengers,for the airline,it has the long range without the risk of having to sell alot of seats,which means full 767-400s instead of 3/4 full 777s. If this sounds boring,I sorry,again its a business.

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