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CNBC – Air Travel – May 14, 2020 – Delta to Retire Boeing 777s as Pandemic Dims Outlook for International Travel

Posted on May 14, 2020


Delta to Retire Boeing 777s as Pandemic Dims Outlook for International Travel

Demand for flights, particularly to international destinations, has plunged because of the pandemic, travel restrictions and shelter-in-place orders
By Leslie Josephs | CNBC • Published 5/14/2020

What to Know
– The carrier is retiring its Boeing 777 fleet, a sign that it doesn’t expect international long-haul travel to return quickly.
– Delta said it will likely be overstaffed by some 7,000 pilots, about half of its pilot base.
– The airline is aiming to eliminate its daily cash burn by the end of the year.

Delta Air Lines said Thursday it may have 7,000 too many pilots this fall and announced it will retire its fleet of Boeing 777s, a sign the airline expects a lengthy downturn in long-haul international travel as the coronavirus batters demand.

CEO Ed Bastian said in a staff memo that the airline aims to eliminate its daily cash burn by the end of the year as the pandemic’s toll on air travel continues.

Delta shares were down more than 3% in midmorning trading, more sharply than the S&P 500′s 1% drop.

The Atlanta-based airline said it has halved its daily cash burn to $50 million a day this month, as planned, by cutting flights and reducing other expenses.

“Our principal financial goal for 2020 is to reduce our cash burn to zero by the end of the year, which will mean, for the next two to three years, a smaller network, fleet and operation in response to substantially reduced customer demand,” Bastian’s memo said.

Demand for flights, particularly to international destinations, has …

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