DL 747 fleet operation

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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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Old May 15, 13, 4:11 pm
  #1  
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DL 747 fleet operation

After the announcement of DTW-ICN going to 747 in August, I am wondering how DL is going to utilize their 16 747's...

Right now it's already spread pretty thin..
13 birds are required to maintain the schedule:
  • 7 birds for arrivals/departures in NRT (ATL, JFK, DTW, BKK, TPE, MNL, HNL)
  • 1 bird overnighting in ATL
  • 2 birds for JFK-TLV
  • 2 birds for DTW-NGO-MNL-NGO-DTW
  • 1 bird for HNL-KIX

DL is going to need 2 additional birds for DTW-ICN-DTW, bringing the total to 15/16.

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?

Looking at the current routes for post DTW-ICN change, all still show 747.

What do you think? Will any routes lose the 747 eventually? The obvious candidates are NRT-BKK and HNL-KIX since they are independent from other routes..

Am I missing something?
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Old May 15, 13, 4:18 pm
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Does DL have any 747s parked in the dessert that could be reconfigured and used? This would take time, probably most of the heavy summer travel season, but it might be a long term solution. Or DL could buy a couple old ones from another carrier, since DL seems to like to purchase and refurbish cheap old airframes. SQ just got rid of their last few 747s and at least these were well maintained.
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Old May 15, 13, 4:26 pm
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Doubt DL has plans for more 747 mods, as I think they really focused on getting them done last year. Seems like they're concentrating on the 763's and the 333's..
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Old May 15, 13, 4:44 pm
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Originally Posted by misterbean View Post
Doubt DL has plans for more 747 mods, as I think they really focused on getting them done last year. Seems like they're concentrating on the 763's and the 333's..
That's what I would have said, but DL seems to be getting good use of its 747s and passengers seem to like them in the reconfigured version.
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Old May 15, 13, 5:46 pm
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Originally Posted by misterbean View Post
After the announcement of DTW-ICN going to 747 in August, I am wondering how DL is going to utilize their 16 747's...

Right now it's already spread pretty thin..
13 birds are required to maintain the schedule:
  • 7 birds for arrivals/departures in NRT (ATL, JFK, DTW, BKK, TPE, MNL, HNL)
  • 1 bird overnighting in ATL
  • 2 birds for JFK-TLV
  • 2 birds for DTW-NGO-MNL-NGO-DTW
  • 1 bird for HNL-KIX

DL is going to need 2 additional birds for DTW-ICN-DTW, bringing the total to 15/16.

Am I missing something?
....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.
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Old May 15, 13, 5:47 pm
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Originally Posted by Seat 1F View Post
....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.
SEA-NRT becomes a 747 sometime this fall. I'm already ticketed on it, so I hope this doesn't change.
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Old May 15, 13, 6:02 pm
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Wow.. missed the SEA-NRT change... app actually shows a 747 on that route starting June 1st!
In that case, something's gotta give, cause DL needs 17 birds but only has 16, with 15 of them put to daily use starting two weeks from today.

This is strange.
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Old May 15, 13, 6:11 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
SEA-NRT becomes a 747 sometime this fall. I'm already ticketed on it, so I hope this doesn't change.
http://news.delta.com/index.php?s=43&item=1732

...
Delta also announced it will deploy its flagship Boeing 747-400 aircraft on flights between Seattle and Tokyo-Narita.

The 376-seat aircraft features 48 full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite, 42 Economy Comfort seats and 286 economy seats, and has been retrofitted to feature significant upgrades in its onboard experience, including direct-aisle access in every BusinessElite seat, individual in-flight entertainment in every seat throughout the aircraft and other amenities.

Delta will be the only U.S. passenger airline operating the iconic Boeing 747 in Seattle. Dubbed the "Queen of the Skies," the 747 is one of the world's most recognizable aircraft due to the graceful curve of its upper deck.

The aircraft will begin flying the Tokyo route on June 1, 2013.
...
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Old May 15, 13, 6:24 pm
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Originally Posted by misterbean View Post
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?
Isn't this the airline catch-22? You gotta maximize the use of a fleet and deal with it if it goes bad. If I am running an airline, I am not sitting 3 or 4 planes around waiting for IROPS. The bad assumption you are making is that the same model of plane must be used to cover for the IROPS. I just flew a 76W DTW-SFO and it was going back to ATL and I wondered how that plane somehow ended up in the places it did.
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Old May 15, 13, 6:27 pm
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Originally Posted by indufan View Post
Isn't this the airline catch-22? You gotta maximize the use of a fleet and deal with it if it goes bad. If I am running an airline, I am not sitting 3 or 4 planes around waiting for IROPS. The bad assumption you are making is that the same model of plane must be used to cover for the IROPS. I just flew a 76W DTW-SFO and it was going back to ATL and I wondered how that plane somehow ended up in the places it did.
Exactly so.
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Old May 15, 13, 6:49 pm
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Airfleets shows Delta having 16 active 747s (1 in storage). Is that incorrect?
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Old May 15, 13, 6:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Pharaoh View Post
Airfleets shows Delta having 16 active 747s (1 in storage). Is that incorrect?
plane spotters lists 16 with all in acttive service.
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Old May 15, 13, 7:00 pm
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Originally Posted by Pharaoh View Post
Airfleets shows Delta having 16 active 747s (1 in storage). Is that incorrect?
I don't believe Delta has any 744s in storage currently. Up until last summer, they had 15 active, one in storage.
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Old May 15, 13, 7:12 pm
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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.

Last edited by DL2SXM; May 15, 13 at 7:19 pm
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Old May 15, 13, 7:23 pm
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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.
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