Delta Air Lines has chosen the Airbus A350-900 and A330-900neo to replace older generation Boeing 747 and 767 aircraft starting in 2017 and 2019, respectively.
The order for 25 state-of-the-art Airbus A350-900 aircraft and 25 advanced Airbus A330-900neo aircraft fits within Delta’s existing capacity and capital expenditure plan and continues the airline’s focus on making prudent, cost-effective investments in its fleet.
“Delta always approaches fleet decisions with a balance of economic efficiency, customer experience enhancements, network integration and total cost of ownership,” said Nat Pieper, Delta vice president – fleet strategy and transactions.
“The A350 and A330neo support our long-haul, transoceanic strategy and join a mix of Boeing and Airbus aircraft that provide exceptional flexibility for Delta’s global network as well as strong cash-on-cash returns for our shareholders.”
The long-range Airbus A350-900 will continue Delta’s optimisation of its Pacific network, operating primarily on long-range routes between the US and Asia.
The jets are expected to generate a 20 percent improvement in operating cost per seat compared to the Boeing 747-400 aircraft they will replace.
Delta will take delivery of the A350 beginning in the second quarter of 2017.
The A350-900 will be powered by two fuel-efficient Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines.
The widebody A330-900neo, an enhancement of Airbus’ successful A330 family featuring greater aerodynamic and economic efficiency, will be deployed on medium-haul trans-Atlantic markets as well as select routes connecting the US West Coast and Asia.
The aircraft are scheduled to enter the Delta fleet in 2019 and will deliver a 20 per cent operating cost savings per seat over the Boeing 767-300ER aircraft it will replace.
The A330neo features the Rolls Royce Trent 7000 engine which is built with similar technology to the Trent XWB on the Airbus A350.
Delta began a structured fleet renewal in 2011 with the selection of new Boeing 737-900ER aircraft along with Boeing 717s and two-class Bombardier CRJ-900 regional jets, and continued it with transactions for Airbus A321 and A330 aircraft.
Those aircraft are replacing inefficient older technology airplanes, generating substantial cost improvement and increased customer satisfaction.
The airline continues to invest in the on board product and amenities available to customers on its entire domestic and international fleet including installation of transoceanic satellite in-flight Wi-Fi, Delta Studio featuring a library of free streaming programming as well as more than 1,000 on-demand movies, television shows and music on large, high-definition seatback monitors, and other service improvements.