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Delta wants to overhaul its existing fleet with more fuel-efficient Boeing planes and has ordered 100 with the option of 30 more.
Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) has ordered 100 Boeing 737 Max 10 planes with delivery starting in 2025. The deal represents the leading American airline’s first major order with Boeing in more than a decade. Delta and Boeing’s deal is worth a total of $13.5 billion and includes an option for 30 more Boeing planes.
Delta looks to switch from its older narrow-body jets to the more fuel-efficient Boeing Max aircrafts. The US aircraft manufacturer had recently lamented trade tensions when European rival Airbus secured a lucrative deal with China. The specifics of that order entail Airbus supplying aircrafts to several Chinese government-owned airline companies.
Delta’s chief executive officer Ed Bastian previously hinted during a recent investor conference that the American carrier was looking to order Boeing jets. In response to a question about a potential order for the planes, Bastian stated:
“We’ve been trying to get a deal done with Boeing on that … hopefully we’ll be able to figure that out.”
The Delta-Boeing deal should include discounts, as is usually common with such large sales. However, Delta did not disclose how much out of the $13.5 billion list price it had paid. Nonetheless, the American major airliner also suggested that its latest capital expenditure forecast remained unchanged despite the purchase.
Delta to Use Boeing Planes to Leverage Post-covid Commercial Travel Clime
Delta intends to use the incoming Boeing planes to rebound optimally in commercial travel following the Covid-induced lull. The Atlanta-based company says that the newer plane models will modernize its fleet and be more cost-effective. This is because the Boeing 737 Max 10 plane is around 20%-30% more fuel efficient than the soon outgoing Delta aircrafts.
Delta plans to configure its new Boeing planes with a 182-seating arrangement. 129 seats would be in standard economy, while 33 would constitute Comfort+ with additional legroom. In addition, the carrier will put 20 seats in first class.
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Delta is one of the top four US airline companies that has not purchased Boeing planes in more than ten years. The legacy carrier instead opted to majorly patronize the European-based Airbus to add to its fleet of jets in those years. During the pandemic, Delta retired older Boeing 777s and sought to acquire more Airbus A350 twin-aisle planes.
US authorities grounded the 737 Max for no less than 18 months following the second of two fatal crashes between 2018 and 2019. Together, these air accidents killed a total of 346 people and impacted the delivery schedule of new Max models. Delta competitors heavily reliant on the Maxes endured capacity constraints during the ban, which was eventually lifted in November 2020.
The Max 10 model is the biggest plane in its company’s category of narrow-body planes and is yet to get government approval. However, Boeing hopes to secure approval for the aircraft before the end of the year.