Delta Adding Planes to Its Fleet

Delta Adding Planes to Its Fleet

In a clear sign that it believes the pandemic is over and that travel demand will continue to grow , Delta Air Lines on Tuesday announced it will add 36 additional aircraft to its fleet.

Delta has entered into agreements with both of the major airplane manufacturers. The airline will add 29 used Boeing 737-900ERs and lease seven used Airbus A350-900s as it continues to streamline and modernize its fleet.

The 36 additional aircraft will improve fuel efficiency and enhance the customer experience while supporting Delta’s fleet renewal strategy focused on simplification, scale, size and sustainability, the carrier said in a statement .

“These aircraft are an investment in Delta’s future,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian. “As we look past the pandemic, Delta’s disciplined, innovative approach to fleet renewal positions us for growth as travel demand returns, while enhancing the customer experience and supporting our sustainability commitments.”

Delta said the COVID-19 pandemic provided an opportunity to simplify its fleet and accelerate retirements of 18 widebody 777s, and the MD-88 and MD-90 narrowbody fleets – all of them older and less efficient equipment.

The pandemic also provided unique business opportunities to add newer generation aircraft at attractive prices.

Widebody fleet renewal is instrumental to Delta’s recovery and will help position Delta for sustained profitability and future growth. As Delta’s flagship aircraft, the A350 provides a world-class customer experience, enhances cargo capacity, reduces unit costs and contributes to a more sustainable future.

The next-generation A350s burn 21 percent less fuel per seat than the 777s they replace. The acquisition of 29 narrowbody 737-900ERs also complements Delta’s existing fleet.

The agreement follows Delta’s decision in April to exercise options on 25 additional A321neo jets, which will start to deliver next year. Those aircraft offer the lowest seat costs in Delta’s fleet.

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