Old Jul 14, 2013, 5:18 am
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Delta Air Lines Boeing 747-400 Fleet Status/Information

Of 16 frames: 0 Active, 1 Preserved, 15 Retired/Stored,

Registration / Ship# (Delivery Month/Yr): Status/other information

N661US / 6301 (12/89): Preserved at the Delta Flight Museum. Was the first 744 ever built. Last revenue flight was HNL-ATL arriving on the morning of 09/09/15. Arrived at the Delta Flight Museum 04/30/2016 and was renovated to be a permanent exhibit. To learn more about the project visit this website. (DL museum website is here)
N662US / 6302 (03/89): Retired, flew to MZJ on 10/15/17. Was the first 744 (in 2012) to be renovated into the 376 pax configuration after the DL/NW merger.
N663US / 6303 (01/89): SCRAPPED, flew to MZJ on 11/05/15.
N664US / 6304 (04/89): SCRAPPED, en-route (DTW-ICN) over China on 06/17/15, was severely damaged by hail. Temporary repairs to make it air-worthy were made. It flew directly from ICN to MZJ on 07/10/15.
N665US / 6305 (09/89): SCRAPPED, flew to MZJ 12/01/16. Was the first 744 (in 2008) to be re-painted in the Delta livery after the DL/NW merger.
N666US / 6306 (08/89): Retired, flew to MZJ 12/26/17. Was the last 744 (in 2017) to perform a revenue passenger flight (12/19/2017 DL158 ICN-DTW).
N667US / 6307 (07/90): Retired, flew to MZJ 11/18/17.
N668US / 6308 (07/90): Retired, flew to MZJ 12/06/17.
N669US / 6309 (08/90): Retired, flew to MZJ 12/23/17.
N670US / 6310 (08/90): Retired, flew to MZJ 12/26/17.
N671US / 6311 (03/99): Retired, flew to MZJ 09/30/14. Due to 6304's damage, it was pulled from storage on 06/28/15 and re-entered revenue service. Was flown back to MZJ and re-retired on 10/31/15.
N672US / 6312 (07/99): Retired, flew to MZJ 10/01/14.
N673US / 6313 (08/99): Retired, flew to MZJ 10/31/16.
N674US / 6314 (10/99): Retired, flew to MZJ 01/03/18. Was the last 744 in the fleet to retire (in 2018).
N675NW / 6315 (03/02): Retired, flew to MZJ 10/25/15.
N676NW / 6316 (04/02): Retired, flew to MZJ 10/01/14.

Fleet Notes:

Final scheduled flight: DL158 ICN-DTW 12/19/17 (N666US).
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DL 747 fleet operation

Old May 16, 2013, 2:51 pm
  #46  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist
I think the CX non stops between JFK and HKG are or were 747s, but there might be an extended range version which is different from what DL has.
Iirc only QF took the passenger 744ER version, believe some others have the ERF frieghter. Not usre if CX 744s were weight/pass restricted for JFK-HKG. When NW ran MSP-HKG using the 744, there were payload restrictions, extra runway length (since shortened, kind of ) among other things particular on hot days. Otoh JFK has a longer runway than MSP.

-H
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Old May 16, 2013, 3:45 pm
  #47  
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Originally Posted by DL2SXM
prob not. 2 engines do a better job then 4. Unless they need the capacity, they'll go with a 777 order. Or, maybe used 777's? DL does have a love affair with used birds.
They acquired used birds for spare parts and in specific to the MD fleet since the airplane was rock solid but was phased out. As such keeping an MD based fleet was in their interest and what Delta did was modernize the MD fleet with newer and younger birds.

The 717 was not an acquisition but rather a sublease. So these will go back to the leaseholder.

Delta has bought used planes for spare parts so them buying a parts specific 747-400 is likely.

Delta's used plane strategy was MD90's + 717s.

Fast forward many many years down the road, and the MD planes will be phased out altogether at some point in time.

Delta's strategy right now is using joint ventures which have international fleet modernization plans.

The problem here is that Delta has planes like N661US which was one of the oldest 747-400, possibly the first 747-400 delivery. Some of the 747-400s they have are still young and can stay in the fleet for a long time. But a few of them are approaching replacement age.

I believe this 747-400 is leased from AT&T Capital Services. I will give the 747-400 a lot of credit for being a lot better than the 1st gen 747's in terms of long term reliability and the 747-400 IMHO was an absolutely fantastic long haul airplane.

I am not privy to the specific leasing terms but it does seem to reason that Delta will have to acquire new jets to replace these.

"Assuming the spare bird stays at NRT, this means any maintenance schedule must be coordinated to allow the spare bird to reposition, leaving the entire fleet without spares for IRROPS! Does anyone else think this is NUTS?"

For awhile Delta was storing 747's. Then they did the Flatbed modifications, and now it looks like all 747-400s are put to usage.

6 of the 16 747-400s are much younger than the rest of the fleet. But 10 of the 747-400's are from 1990 or earlier.

If IRROPS happens, it happens with the 747's.

Last edited by adamj023; May 16, 2013 at 4:20 pm
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Old May 16, 2013, 4:10 pm
  #48  
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Originally Posted by adamj023
The problem here is that Delta has planes like N661US which was one of the oldest 747-400, possibly the first 747-400 delivery. Some of the 747-400s they have are still young and can stay in the fleet for a long time. But a few of them are approaching replacement age.

I believe this 747-400 is leased from AT&T Capital Services. I will give the 747-400 a lot of credit for being a lot better than the 1st gen 747's in terms of long term reliability and the 747-400 IMHO was an absolutely fantastic long haul airplane.

I am not privy to the specific leasing terms but it does seem to reason that Delta will have to acquire new jets to replace these.

"6 of the 16 747-400s are much younger than the rest of the fleet. But 10 of the 747-400's are from 1990 or earlier.
N661US is indeed leased from lsf AT&T Capital Services. It is over 25 years old. According to planespotters, its first flight was April 29, 1988. N662US is closing in on 25 years in service as well. It would appear that DL will have to make a decision soon to replace the oldest of these 747's. The newest 747 for DL, N576NW, is not even 12 years old.
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Old May 16, 2013, 4:25 pm
  #49  
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Originally Posted by DL2SXM
N661US is indeed leased from lsf AT&T Capital Services. It is over 25 years old. According to planespotters, its first flight was April 29, 1988. N662US is closing in on 25 years in service as well. It would appear that DL will have to make a decision soon to replace the oldest of these 747's. The newest 747 for DL, N576NW, is not even 12 years old.
The 747-400s are quite pricey so some carriers have held onto these planes for a significantly long time while others have led quick replacements on their long haul fleets.

I thought Delta would have had replacement orders on these already. There are a lot of other 747-400s on the market now, 777s and the like new and used, so I guess it remains to be seen if Delta has a strategy for replacements.
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Old May 16, 2013, 5:39 pm
  #50  
 
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Originally Posted by DL2SXM
Here's one change for you. DTW to NGO will no longer be daily. Beginning October 1, it looks like DTW to NGO will be 4x weekly. Also, that means that NGO to MNL will also go down to 4x weekly.
That's a seasonal thing. Happens every year.

Originally Posted by AdamDunn32
They are swapping with 744 on DTWNRT for a 777, the same 777 that was on DTWICN. Not sure if it's formally been announced but this is what I am hearing.

16 active during summer. After summer 1-2 in maintenance.
News to me, but it makes sense. With so many Asian non-stops from DTW now, the quantity of hub traffic connecting over NRT from DTW (O&D) is significantly less than it once was. It would make sense for DL to moderately reduce capacity on this route (whereas the ICN flight connects to a much larger hub on the Asian side, and DTW is the only U.S. hub for Delta to flow ICN-bound traffic through).
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Old May 16, 2013, 6:10 pm
  #51  
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Originally Posted by DL2SXM
N661US is indeed leased from lsf AT&T Capital Services. It is over 25 years old. According to planespotters, its first flight was April 29, 1988. N662US is closing in on 25 years in service as well. It would appear that DL will have to make a decision soon to replace the oldest of these 747's. The newest 747 for DL, N576NW, is not even 12 years old.
Delta seems to be hanging onto the 747-400s while other carriers, including even Virgin Atlantic are replacing their 747-400s.

Can Delta use Virgin Atlantic planes for "IRROPS" with its own fleet considering Delta will be part of the joint venture ownership?

The IRROPS issue isn't meaningful if Delta can get access to other jets.

For whatever reason, Delta mainline seems to be the only one without 747-400 replacement plans announced. Its joint venture partners and other codeshared partners all have replacement programs.

But if Delta is profiting from these jets and they have been through all their maintenance checks and the like, these 747-400s could last for a long long time. But there is always a point at which maintanence will cost more than just acquiring new jets assuming they are performing appropriate upkeep of the aircraft as new ones burn less fuel.

Last edited by adamj023; May 16, 2013 at 6:18 pm
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Old May 16, 2013, 6:25 pm
  #52  
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Originally Posted by adamj023
Delta seems to be hanging onto the 747-400s while other carriers, including even Virgin Atlantic are replacing their 747-400s.

.
i mean, who else is operating 25+ year old 747's? I just can't see the oldest of the 747's lasting more then 5 more years. But what do I know? I'm not an expert in the field of aviation
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Old May 16, 2013, 7:13 pm
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Aircraft age is not really limited in terms of years, but rather cycles and flight hours. There is a cargo company that still operates 747-200 aircraft. One document I found indicates that 747-400 are limited to 35000 cycles (a takeoff and landing) or 165000 hours. The biggest stress to an aircraft is the pressurization cycle and not really the age of the aircraft if properly maintained. If you figure that in a passenger operation a 747 is subject to 2 cycles a day (very ambitious, given the length of the flights) then the aircraft would last close to 50 years before being cycle limited. The hour limit would be reached sooner if they were all long haul flights, but realistically a 747 will probably average closer to a cycle per day, and the life limits will reach upwards of 35 to 40 years.
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Old May 16, 2013, 8:24 pm
  #54  
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Originally Posted by sushi lover
Aircraft age is not really limited in terms of years, but rather cycles and flight hours. There is a cargo company that still operates 747-200 aircraft. One document I found indicates that 747-400 are limited to 35000 cycles (a takeoff and landing) or 165000 hours. The biggest stress to an aircraft is the pressurization cycle and not really the age of the aircraft if properly maintained. If you figure that in a passenger operation a 747 is subject to 2 cycles a day (very ambitious, given the length of the flights) then the aircraft would last close to 50 years before being cycle limited. The hour limit would be reached sooner if they were all long haul flights, but realistically a 747 will probably average closer to a cycle per day, and the life limits will reach upwards of 35 to 40 years.
interesting, thanks for that bit of info.
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Old May 16, 2013, 8:38 pm
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Originally Posted by HongKonger
Me too, mid-July.
Me three, for December, and I'm really hoping it's still 747 service!
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Old May 16, 2013, 8:54 pm
  #56  
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Originally Posted by sushi lover
Aircraft age is not really limited in terms of years, but rather cycles and flight hours. There is a cargo company that still operates 747-200 aircraft. One document I found indicates that 747-400 are limited to 35000 cycles (a takeoff and landing) or 165000 hours. The biggest stress to an aircraft is the pressurization cycle and not really the age of the aircraft if properly maintained. If you figure that in a passenger operation a 747 is subject to 2 cycles a day (very ambitious, given the length of the flights) then the aircraft would last close to 50 years before being cycle limited. The hour limit would be reached sooner if they were all long haul flights, but realistically a 747 will probably average closer to a cycle per day, and the life limits will reach upwards of 35 to 40 years.
This is true. Other airlines are still running 747-400 planes around the same age as Delta's. However there are other airlines which phased out much newer 747-400's and replaced them with newer aircraft as well.

At some point however, Delta will need to replace these. Fortunately the 747-400's safety record is far better than the 747 classic it replaced but as airplane age, they get more prone to breakdowns.

It would be in Delta's best interests IMHO if they decided what strategy they will take for international.

Delta has multiple 747's to NRT for instance while they have potential for a strong JV with Skymark which will have A380. So theoretically they could codeshare with Skymark and decrease utilization of their existing 747-400s.
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Old May 16, 2013, 11:01 pm
  #57  
 
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Originally Posted by Seat 1F
....and to further complicate the equation, isn't either SEA-NRT or SEA-HND supposed to go to a 744 as well? That would put addition pressure in the DL 744 fleet. Personally, I think a 744 on SEA to TYO to be overkill given the amount of competition on that route.
UA SEA-NRT - so much capacity , one of the easiest Upgrade routes in the UA System
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Old May 17, 2013, 6:12 am
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Originally Posted by adamj023
The 747-400 isn't as cost effective as other Jetplanes. Delta will have 717 and 739-900ER coming in but considering Delta has no Dreamliners due in soon and no 747-400 replacements for now, they are going to see serious competition from other carriers on Delta covered routes.

Delta really needs a better international aircraft strategy IMHO.
So your plan is to replace a 400 seat aircraft with a ~220 seat airplane? Sounds like a good idea....assuming you don't like money.

a full(ish) 744 has no cost problem.
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Old May 17, 2013, 6:17 am
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Originally Posted by misterbean
HNL-KIX-HNL is showing A333 starting October 26th. So there's one down.

HNL-NRT is going to 1x 767 1x 744 (and when the 3rd daily comes back it is also as a 333). So thats two.
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Old May 17, 2013, 6:21 am
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Originally Posted by adamj023
The 747-400s are quite pricey so some carriers have held onto these planes for a significantly long time while others have led quick replacements on their long haul fleets.

I thought Delta would have had replacement orders on these already. There are a lot of other 747-400s on the market now, 777s and the like new and used, so I guess it remains to be seen if Delta has a strategy for replacements.
To people who, uh, know what is going on, Delta does have a international aircraft strategy.

Maybe leave the airline management up to the airline.
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