Well.... where do I start. This is one of the biggest obstacles to Delta right now... our lack of B-777 aircraft.
As ContinentalEWR correctly stated, the pilots and management had a dispute when Delta introduced the 777 into service over 777 pay and working conditions. Delta parked the two 777s it had already received, and deferred a bunch of its deliveries to 2002.
JFK-ATH is definitely one of the routes that could use the increased capacity of the 777. It's common knowledge that if scheduling had their way, we would have 10 or 11 on property by now and they'd be flying more heavily out of JFK, as well as the big four high yield long-haul domestic city pairs: JFK-SFO, JFK-LAX, ATL-LAX, and ATL-SFO. Their large BusinessElite cabins and modern interiors give them a lot of passenger appeal, a lot more than the -300ER, which we get from both JFK and ATL, here at SFO.
There are rumblings around here that Delta is going to place a large, maybe even blockbuster 777 order with Boeing once the labor dispute with pilots is settled. The sooner we get 777s, the sooner we can get rid of the dreaded MD-11s. Still, with an order now, deliveries would not start until late 2002, as the production list up to then is pretty much sewn up. So, according to a 767-400 pilot I was chatting with after an ATL-LAX flight, Delta is quietly shopping around to see if any carriers are interested in selling their 777 options to us.
The larger issue, as DeltaAir correctly stated, is aircraft availability. We just can't get our hands on airplanes fast enough. There are so many routes that have the potential to be very profitable for Delta, but there are not enough airplanes, and soon there will not be enough crews.
So currently, Delta has 7 777s in the fleet.. ships 7001-7007. There are 6 more scheduled deliveries which will complete our initial order of 13 777s, but the next delivery is not until February 2002. But this you can count on: we will end up with a lot more than 13 777s in the fleet. You can take that to the bank.
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