Delta adds 36 aircraft that will improve fuel efficiency, customer experience

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Delta Airlines announces the addition of 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.

“These aircraft are an investment in Delta’s future. 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,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian.

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. Improved fuel efficiency is paramount to Delta’s ongoing efforts to reduce its carbon emissions and its Flight to Net Zero. The acquisition of 29 narrowbody 737-900ERs also complement Delta’s existing fleet.

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

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.

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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