(14 July 2021)
Delta has confirmed plans to buy 29 used
Boeing 737-900ERs and lease seven used Airbus A350-900s.
The 36 additional aircraft will help the airline
to reduce fuel costs and enhance the overall customer experience,
while supporting Delta’s fleet renewal strategy focused on
simplification, scale, size and sustainability.
“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
The ongoing COVID19 pandemic has provided an opportunity
for Delta 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.
The pandemic has also provided unique business
opportunities to add newer generation aircraft at much more attractive
prices than normal.
The A350s burn 21% less fuel per seat than the
777s they replace whilst the acquisition of 29 narrowbody 737-900ERs also complement Delta’s existing fleet.
Delta will lease the A350s through AerCap and
purchase 27 of the 737-900ERs from funds managed by Castlelake,
L.P., while the remaining two 737-900ERs will be financed from
funds also managed by Castlelake, L.P. Both transactions are
subject to closing conditions.
Deliveries of the aircraft will be
completed by the first quarter of 2022, and they will enter
service after modifications are completed.
In addition to the seven A350s outlined above, Delta currently has 15 A359s in service and 20
on order. The addition of the 29 737-900ERs will bring the total
to 159 in its fleet.
These two latest agreements follow
Delta’s decision in April to
exercise options on 25 additional A321neo jets. Delivery of
the A321neos is scheduled to commence next year.
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