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Delta Chooses A321neo for Fleet Modernization

Up to 200 new aircraft could join Atlanta-based Delta, starting in 2020

After evaluating their options, Delta Air Lines will partner with Airbus to modernize their aging aircraft fleet. In a press release, the Atlanta-based airline announced they would order the A321neo (new engine option) airframe to modernize their fleet, instead of the Boeing 737-MAX series.

The plan calls for 100 firm orders for A321neo aircraft, followed by an option of an additional 100 to be delivered at a later time. The new aircraft will be fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines and will join the Delta fleet starting in 2020. Bloomberg estimates the order is valued at $13 billion.

Each aircraft will be fit for 197 seats, split between 20 first class, 30 Delta Comfort+ premium economy and 147 economy seats. Built into the aircraft are high-speed satellite wireless internet, power ports and streaming in-flight entertainment to personal devices. The aircraft will also feature larger overhead bins, with 25 percent more space compared to previous A320-family aircraft.

After weighing the pros and cons of both the Airbus A321 and Boeing 737, Delta executives said the decision came down to operational performance. Airline chief executive Ed Bastian praised the A321neo for its safety, efficiency and comfort.

“Delta, Airbus and Pratt & Whitney share the same commitment to safety, efficiency, innovation and continuously improving the customer experience,” Bastian said in the press release. “This order for the state-of-the-art A321neo with Pratt’s Pure Power next-generation jet engines reflects our long-term commitment to these values for Delta people and all our constituents.”

Although the order is coming from the France-based company, Airbus executives pledged that “many” of the ordered aircraft would come out of their plant in Mobile, Alabama. How many will be built in the United States instead of France was not made clear.

The addition of new aircraft is not the only announcement coming out of Delta’s investor day. The second-largest American airline by passengers also announced $12 billion in facility improvement projects at five key airports and the addition of a new data center to improve “reliability and disaster recovery.”

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[Image Source: Wikimedia]

Comments are Closed.
sddjd December 22, 2017

Delta's selection is their business and it and the competing product are both fine designs, but seriously, how can these PR people issue statements like "Ed Bastian praised the A321neo for its safety, efficiency and comfort" with a straight face? Based on what, the EIGHT 321neo's in service currently worldwide?

HomerJay December 16, 2017

This will certainly play well in Seattle. (not) Gotta wonder how Boeing and Alaska will use this in the battle for dominance at SEA-TAC.

Sabai December 15, 2017

100 new jets from Airbus; meanwhile Delta petulantly whines about needing protection “foreign” airlines.

wuzziduzziman December 15, 2017

What a pity. One of the reasons I liked to fly Delta is the fact that they have a reasonable low amount of Airbus aircraft.

CPMaverick December 15, 2017

Delta Comfort+ is not Premium Economy...