Delta Retires Final Boeing 767-300 From Domestic Service

News coming from Aeronautics Online is saying that there will no longer be any Delta 767-300s, as the final aircraft of its kind flew to retirement this week. Taking place on Monday, June 3rd, the last commercial flight was between Salt Lake City and Atlanta. Both cities are major hubs for Delta Air Lines. The aircraft then went to Blytheville, Arkansas for storage and retirement.

Delta had 28 767-300s in its fleet. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The 767-300 (the non ER variant) was being used for US domestic routes, meaning that, at least for now, we won’t be seeing the 767 flying between US cities. Only international routes will be flown by Delta 767s, specifically the 767-300ER.

Delta has had 28 of the 767-300 aircraft operating up to this point.

The final flight

The final flight details. Photo: FlightRadar24.com

The final commercial flight for N1402A, the last Boeing 767-300, was between Salt Lake City and Atlanta on June 2nd. The next day the aircraft flew from Atlanta to Blytheville, Arkansas.

The 767’s past and future

As the 767 itself is a fairly old model of aircraft no longer in production for passenger travel, Delta’s 767 fleet has certainly flown significant distances over many years. Using the final 767 as an example, domestic routes for the 26-year old plane have included Atlanta-Seattle, Atlanta-Las Vegas, and Atlanta-Salt Lake City. The aircraft age came from information found on Airfleets.net.

Boeing still produces freight and military tanker 767 variants. Photo: Flickr user Bill Abbott

Delta’s remaining 767-300ER aircraft are still flying international routes. Using N184DN as an example, the plane has recently been flying low-demand routes like Indianapolis-Paris, Portland-London, and Boston-Amsterdam.

According to Wikipedia, Delta Air Lines has 56 767-300ERs left in its fleet. Some of these planes will be retrofitted with Premium Select seats by 2021 while older aircraft are to be replaced by the Airbus A330-900neo from 2019.

Although passenger variants of the 767 are no longer coming out of Boeing factories (or maybe Boeing could restart 767 production if there is demand… we wrote about it in an April article.), freight and military variants continue to be produced.

UPS announced in late 2018 that they would be ordering four more 767-300Fs, thereby increasing their total order to 63. According to Wikipedia, deliveries for this order are scheduled from 2017 through to 2022.

Blytheville

According to Julian at Spotterguide.net, there are several airports in the United States that  famous for their airplane ‘graveyards’ – the more notable ones being Victorville and Mojave in California, or Marana in Arizona. However, big scrapping companies exist at Tupelo, Mississippi as well as Stuttgart and Blytheville in Arkansas.

In Blytheville you will find Aviation Repair Technologies. The company’s website says the following about their services:

“With years of experience and a track record of hundreds of aircraft successfully disassembled for airlines and leasing companies from around the world, we offer market-leading capabilities to disassemble regional, narrow and wide-body aircraft.”

Delta still uses the 767-300ER internationally. Photo: Flickr user Bill Abbott

In conclusion, as passenger versions of the 767 get older and slowly face retirement we will see them less and less. Will you be sad to see these planes leave their fleets? Let us know about any experiences – good or bad – you’ve had with the 767.

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Matt

The only thing I really liked about the 767 as a passenger was the economy seating. There was no way to add a fourth seat in the middle, so the seating is generally more comfortable than a 9 across 787 for example.

I also bet we’ll see some ERs on domestic flights. I’ve heard that the 767-300ER doesn’t really have a fuel penalty compared to the older models. I’ve already flown them a couple times domestically when they needed to get one between hubs, and replaced a 757 on the route.

Ben

Yes, 2-3-2 > 2-4-2 (330) > 3-3-3 (777, etc) !

True about the domestic flights. There are often 767-300ERs being repositioned around the US for maintenance, temporary upgauge, or other reasons. In fact, I was at ATL yesterday and saw a 767-300ER headed to MCO.
It is true though that they will primarily be used for long-haul international flying.