NMA/797 Delay and Delta's Future Fleet

Old Jan 23, 20, 2:33 pm
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NMA/797 Delay and Delta's Future Fleet

Sometime yesterday, Boeing's new CEO announced that the NMA project is to go back to the drawing board, which will further delay any potential 797. We all know that Delta is very interested in this plane as a 757/767 replacement. We also all know that the 737 MAX has been a disaster for them and it is eating any potential R&D money from every other project. We've seen both AA and UA order the A321XLR even though UA really prefers to order from Boeing.

So, what will DL do? Will they bite the bullet and order some A321XLR and more A330neos? Or will they keep waiting for a potential 797 to come to market?

Boeing Delays NMA
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Old Jan 23, 20, 2:46 pm
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Could be a mix of both. It's not hard to imagine Delta replacing some 767s with more A330neo aircraft and then stretching the lifespan of the newest 757s a little longer than expected... then, when the NMA is available, they can still get in on the ground floor and retire some of the older A330-200/300 aircraft along with any remaining 757s.

Delta is large enough to absorb pretty much any airplane available at the right price, and they have a vested interest in buying from both Boeing and Airbus to keep pricing competitive...
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Old Jan 23, 20, 3:13 pm
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Who expected Boeing to complete a 797 on time in the first place? What was probably assumed to be the a typical program that completes a year or two behind schedule turned into a giant question mark. This creates a lot of ripple effects for all airlines and manufacturers as it throws a giant monkey wrench into the supply and demand equation. I think if you are DL (or any airline for that matter) you really have to plan around the fleet that you got for 737/57/67 and airbus equivalent type aircraft for the next decade. If you can get some new aircraft delivered, that's a bonus. If you can find some aircraft on the used market, that's a bonus, but I also have to imagine that other airlines will also be extending the lives of their fleets and so there will not be as many used aircraft coming to market as there would be otherwise. I would imagine that DL will do a combo of both since there is quite a long line for new Airbus, used aircraft would be a good bandaid...and be patient to see what happens with Boeing.
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Old Jan 23, 20, 3:29 pm
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I always assumed that DL was hamming up the 797 as a bargaining chip to use with Airbus more than they were really needing it badly. If they actually got Boeing to build a clean-sheet design that fit their needs, that'd be just a bonus. At this point, it was likely to be so far off that making any strategic fleet decisions that depended on it would be negligent.

I wonder if Airbus will do anything to increase A321 production currently.

Maybe we'll get a 757neo after all?
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Old Jan 23, 20, 3:52 pm
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Iíll happily fly on 40 or 50 year old 757s for the foreseeable decade or two if it means waiting until a proper replacement is produced and never having another 737 hit the DL fleet.
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Old Jan 23, 20, 6:04 pm
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Originally Posted by manacit View Post
I always assumed that DL was hamming up the 797 as a bargaining chip to use with Airbus more than they were really needing it badly. If they actually got Boeing to build a clean-sheet design that fit their needs, that'd be just a bonus. At this point, it was likely to be so far off that making any strategic fleet decisions that depended on it would be negligent.

I wonder if Airbus will do anything to increase A321 production currently.

Maybe we'll get a 757neo after all?
The new GE Leap engines would have fit great on a 757 MAX.

I thought DL was sincere in wanting a NMA because they wanted something smaller than a 330-900 neo and a 321 neo xlr. Or, in other words, something the size of a 767-300.
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Old Jan 23, 20, 11:30 pm
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Originally Posted by SJC ORD LDR View Post
Sometime yesterday, Boeing's new CEO announced that the NMA project is to go back to the drawing board, which will further delay any potential 797. We all know that Delta is very interested in this plane as a 757/767 replacement. We also all know that the 737 MAX has been a disaster for them and it is eating any potential R&D money from every other project. We've seen both AA and UA order the A321XLR even though UA really prefers to order from Boeing.

So, what will DL do? Will they bite the bullet and order some A321XLR and more A330neos? Or will they keep waiting for a potential 797 to come to market?

Boeing Delays NMA
You are talking about something that is 5-7-10 years down the road for most of the 767/757 fleet. Around 10-15 757s will probably cycle out before then as well as some of the oldest 300ERs but Delta already has plenty of options in the order book to handle that.

regular old 321NEOs can replace most of the 757s as is. The few Transatlantic routes left on the 757 have years before that is a concern. The ETOPS 757s are the youngest in the fleet.

some of the 767-300ERs were already planned to be replaced by 339s, either directly in the case of the SEA-Asia flying or indirectly with a flow down.

As for the options much later down the road, I'm sure Boeing and Airbus will offer something. Boeing might be heavily discounted 787s like they have done for American. Airbus still has the lower capacity 338 as well. As for the 321XLR, unless Delta finds out they need them for Hawaii flying, I have a hard time seeing it. Delta is more than glad to service the secondary Euro markets via its JV partners.
Originally Posted by BenA View Post
Could be a mix of both. It's not hard to imagine Delta replacing some 767s with more A330neo aircraft and then stretching the lifespan of the newest 757s a little longer than expected... then, when the NMA is available, they can still get in on the ground floor and retire some of the older A330-200/300 aircraft along with any remaining 757s.

Delta is large enough to absorb pretty much any airplane available at the right price, and they have a vested interest in buying from both Boeing and Airbus to keep pricing competitive...
exactly. Simple fact is Airbus and Boeing don't have the capacity to be a single source for any of the US3. On top of that, It would be stupid for Delta to go to a single source for airplanes if they really want to continue to grow the MRO the way they have planned.

Something tells me Delta will end up ordering something LEAP powered in the near future.
Originally Posted by SJC ORD LDR View Post
The new GE Leap engines would have fit great on a 757 MAX.

I thought DL was sincere in wanting a NMA because they wanted something smaller than a 330-900 neo and a 321 neo xlr. Or, in other words, something the size of a 767-300.
Just because NMA might be pushed back doesn't mean Delta doesn't want it, or won't want it in the future.
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Old Jan 24, 20, 1:25 am
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The 787-8 would be an ideal 763ER replacement and 787-10 for the 764. But in my opinion that is a long shot unless Boeing makes them a deal they really can't refuse.

By 2030 I think the only Boeing left in the fleet will be the 739. My guess is DL will make another A320/321neo order to replace the A320, 738, 757. And another order for the A220 to replace the A319, 717, 737-700. Maybe a few more A330neo but not many. Secondary cities that use the 767 like STR, PSA, ZRH, TXL, etc will be dropped and passengers sent to AF/KLM.
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Old Jan 24, 20, 6:17 am
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A NMA/797 would be a great opportunity to rebuild their company and image. If they get it right, and get it on time, and is flawless. That seems almost impossible to do, but the right engineers and management could make it happen.
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Old Jan 24, 20, 9:45 am
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Originally Posted by readywhenyouare View Post
Secondary cities that use the 767 like STR, PSA, ZRH, TXL, etc will be dropped and passengers sent to AF/KLM.
Look at a regional map of Stuttgart and the automobile manufacturers located in the area. Now look at a regional map of Atlanta and the automobile manufacturing plants, suppliers, distribution facilities, and North American headquarters located in the area. I think that it is highly unlikely that ATL-STR goes away in the foreseeable future.
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Old Jan 24, 20, 2:48 pm
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Originally Posted by manacit View Post
I always assumed that DL was hamming up the 797 as a bargaining chip to use with Airbus more than they were really needing it badly. If they actually got Boeing to build a clean-sheet design that fit their needs, that'd be just a bonus. At this point, it was likely to be so far off that making any strategic fleet decisions that depended on it would be negligent.

I wonder if Airbus will do anything to increase A321 production currently.

Maybe we'll get a 757neo after all?
I wondered 8-9 years ago why Boeing didn't re-spool up the 757 line with some modern updates. It was a plane before it's time, but as soon as it's time really arrived they stopped making it!

A 757neo wouldn't have taken all that long to get going, and they would have been able to slowly and methodically build a full 797 replacement instead of rushing things like stretching the 737 again after 739's had a well known tail strike issue from being stretched so far!

So even if the MAX issues still happened, Boeing would be right about now be able to roll off the new 797's. And at that point they could probably shrink it to replace the MAX's and have a far less of a PR nightmare.
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Old Jan 24, 20, 3:23 pm
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Originally Posted by kop84 View Post
I wondered 8-9 years ago why Boeing didn't re-spool up the 757 line with some modern updates. It was a plane before it's time, but as soon as it's time really arrived they stopped making it!

A 757neo wouldn't have taken all that long to get going, and they would have been able to slowly and methodically build a full 797 replacement instead of rushing things like stretching the 737 again after 739's had a well known tail strike issue from being stretched so far!

So even if the MAX issues still happened, Boeing would be right about now be able to roll off the new 797's. And at that point they could probably shrink it to replace the MAX's and have a far less of a PR nightmare.
Boeing offered the 757 to all the airlines, Iím sure at great prices, at the end and no one bought it.

Itís too heavy for most 737 routes and the 737 can cover the majority of 757 routes cheaper. Easy to see why no one bought it.

Last edited by Newman55; Jan 24, 20 at 3:34 pm
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Old Jan 24, 20, 4:18 pm
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Originally Posted by Newman55 View Post
Boeing offered the 757 to all the airlines, Iím sure at great prices, at the end and no one bought it.

Itís too heavy for most 737 routes and the 737 can cover the majority of 757 routes cheaper. Easy to see why no one bought it.
At the time, 757s were still relatively new and did not need replacing. Now that Boeing has essentially failed this market segment, everyone is replacing 757s with A321s.
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Old Jan 24, 20, 4:20 pm
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Originally Posted by readywhenyouare View Post
The 787-8 would be an ideal 763ER replacement and 787-10 for the 764. But in my opinion that is a long shot unless Boeing makes them a deal they really can't refuse.

By 2030 I think the only Boeing left in the fleet will be the 739. My guess is DL will make another A320/321neo order to replace the A320, 738, 757. And another order for the A220 to replace the A319, 717, 737-700. Maybe a few more A330neo but not many. Secondary cities that use the 767 like STR, PSA, ZRH, TXL, etc will be dropped and passengers sent to AF/KLM.
Originally Posted by ecaarch View Post
Look at a regional map of Stuttgart and the automobile manufacturers located in the area. Now look at a regional map of Atlanta and the automobile manufacturing plants, suppliers, distribution facilities, and North American headquarters located in the area. I think that it is highly unlikely that ATL-STR goes away in the foreseeable future.
DL of any airline seems willing to and in fact does fly to lots of 2ndry/tertiary cities. Highly unlikely for that to change, especially as passengers more and more want nonstop options. It's part of the reason the A380 failed. (Among many, but one of the main)
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Old Jan 24, 20, 4:34 pm
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Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
At the time, 757s were still relatively new and did not need replacing. Now that Boeing has essentially failed this market segment, everyone is replacing 757s with A321s.
I wouldnít call 20 year old planes relatively new.
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