Delta plans $1bn fleet upgrade

Delta plans $1bn fleet upgrade

Delta Air Lines, the world’s largest airline by revenue, has announced plans to invest $1 billion over the next four years to upgrade its fleet and passenger facilities.

The bulk of the investment would be ploughed into service upgrades for premium customers amounting to $300 million a year to 2013, including add flat beds and entertainment systems throughout its fleet.

However it declined to comment on a future order of Boeing 787 Dreamliners, and it said capital spending will drop to $1.1 billion this year from $1.3 billion in 2009.

The investments are focused on upgrading long-haul services from its New York hub and on trans-Pacific routes that rely heavily on premium passengers.

Delta also plans to add first-class cabins to 66 regional jets operated by Delta Connection carriers ASA, Comair and SkyWest. This move will bring to 219 the number of regional aircraft with first-class seating, Delta said.

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It is also renovating and expanding the Sky Club lounge in Los Angeles and opening club locations in Seattle, Philadelphia and Indianapolis.

Other projects are installing in-seat entertainment in business and economy on all widebody aircraft; new seat upholstery, updated lighting and increased overhead space on Northwest Airlines planes.