Delta has signed on to bring in eleven 777-200ERs, formerly operated by Singapore/Scoot. This adds to the 18 current 777-200ER/LRs in the Delta fleet. A largely unnoticed but significant fleet addition.
Tie this to Delta’s mentioned intention to feed China Eastern’s hub at Shanghai, along with their recent request to get back an Haneda slot recently released to American, and there is no question that Delta is going to continue to double-down on Asian growth. Given the expected growth – particularly in China-US traffic – it’s solid strategy.
Delta’s fleet planning bears watching. They have 12 remaining 747-400s, which is a number similar to the 777s just acquired. There’s a good chance that within the next 18 months, there will no longer be any 747s in US scheduled passenger fleets. United is the only other operator, and neither it nor Delta have shown any public interest in the 747-8.
Unlike American and United, Delta apparently is not a big proponent of the 787. It still has 20 787-8s on the books at Boeing, but given that the deliveries are not scheduled for another 4-5 years, it’s not real likely that these may see Delta colors. Certainly, it’s not likely that -8s are in the cards.
On the other hand Delta may be waiting to get performance numbers from the 787-10 and could switch orders. Or, it’s possible that Airbus has already filled that need with the A-350s that Delta has coming.
Boyd Group Internationam