Hello. I don't visit this thread often; however, I visited VCV today and this caught my eye. Air Canada 777-200LR C-FIUA was completely wrapped up, however a section of the tail panel was missing (refer to my pics in the link below). I've seen that on various 744s when they were retired, and with only a small subfleet of 6 aircraft, it would make sense that Air Canada would be retiring their 77Ls. Wonder if this is an actual retirement that hasn't been announced, storage, or what.....
I tried searching up 'Air Canada 777 retirements' on Google & A.net and all I got was the 763/E190 retirements a while ago. The 77Ls are quite spread out, stored at VCV, MZJ, YVR, and YYZ, so it doesn't look like AC really has a 100% solid plan for a storage location either...anyone have more info??https://www.instagram.com/p/CIHaVRthzm0/
PS: If someone can educate me on what part is missing from the 77L's tail (and why they removed it), it would be greatly appreciated! I reached out to a few people and nobody had a firm answer.
If that is your post on Instagram, why are you saying it is being retired in that post?
I elaborated on my reasoning later on in the post (besides the first line), and also emphasized waiting for a statement for Air Canada. I also have posted a longer explanation on my story (factoring in that C-FNNH is now flying into VCV). Yes we need to look for a statement from Air Canada, but AC would not have 2 aircraft at VCV for maintenance and/or repaint. C-FIUA has been there for 4 days (3 as of yesterday when the picture was taken). VCV is quick. If it was repaint, they would already have it in the paint hangar by then. If it was maintenance, they would have stairs attached and it would not be parked next to an EMPTY Boeing hangar (yes I saw it with my own eyes).
Furthermore, another post (not linked to me in any way, it was sent to me by a friend) also suggests retirement, and states that "Air Canada is reportedly set to announce the retirement of its Boeing 777-200LR fleet this week." Link below:https://www.instagram.com/p/CIJKi9fB8fV/
Seems highly unlikely that AC would retire the LR's. They have historically served a distinct purpose for AC - YVR-SYD and YYZ-HKG - both of which historically have filled a 40J cabin and the belly with cargo. Although both a 77W (with some capacity restrictions westbound at certain times of the year) and the 789 can fly these routes, the 77L fits its role pretty well. They have also been seen on other routes that support 40J seats and cargo. The pilot pool is the same with the 77W's as is maintenance, and AC will not be retiring the 77W's any time soon. 4 of the 6 are owned aircraft so they may remain parked until demand picks back up - hence the wrapping for storage - but it seems likely that they will return at some point.
I would definitely agree with you that AC likely has a very niche area for these 77Ls (they are niche aircraft by nature), and you likely know the AC network way better than I do based off of your post. I do not know exactly what time this post was written (the little time icon on each post is always screwed up for me), however 77L C-FNNH is currently inbound to VCV: one of the leased aircraft. Given the Instagram post I linked earlier, the missing tail component which houses the hydraulic actuator (thank you to the poster who informed me about that earlier in the thread), and the fact that it was 3 days since C-FIUA flew in and it still did not have any of the tell-tale signs of being for either maintenance or paint, I think that I can say with a very high certainty that we will see an announcement of the 77L retirement this week.
When I was there, I did factor in that things were wrapped up (instruments, engines, etc), however that missing tail component is the biggest thing for me. Anyways, if you take a look at some of the Delta 77L/772s at VCV, they are also wrapped up but they are most definitely for retirement (at least from the Delta fleet).