Officially, Delta has no plans to order the 777-300. But some people I've talked to in Atlanta this past week (read: very good sources) said they've heard that management is looking at the -300ER very closely. Who knows what that means. If I were to make a prediction, and this is just my opinion, I would say that if we get the -300ER it would run JFK-FRA and ATL-FRA. Forget ATL-MCO except at the beginning for crew familiarization purposes.
The other interesting thing going on with the 777 in our fleet is that apparently management is serious about running it on high yield domestic legs. Namely ATL-LAX, ATL-SFO, JFK-SFO, and JFK-LAX. Those are the four markets that have domestic BusinessElite, and it's definitely been a huge hit with business travelers. I flew ATL-LAX on the 767-400 yesterday, and I was chatting with the FO after the flight. He said that Delta is quietly shopping around for other carriers' 777 options, which would also enable us to accelerate the retirement of the MD-11 and start regular transcon 777 service. So maybe they are serious about getting some more into the fleet besides the 6 that are on the way.
But truthfully, I think China rights, as well as LHR T5, will play a big role in this process. If we get China rights, it will bring the -200ER and -300ER into play. The 777 has the potential to be Delta's growth aircraft, particularly in the Asia market. If we can get the rights, that is.
On a side note, in February, TPA will get a regular 777 run from ATL. MCO is down to just one 777 a day.
It's a new day. Every moment matters. Now, more than ever.