In what could only be described as a blow to a certain US airframer, Delta is to turn to Airbus for its long haul fleet renewal, with a firm order for 50 long haul aircraft
The order will be split down the middle with 25 orders for the Airbus A350-900s and 25 Airbus A330-900neo aircraft
The aircraft will be powered by Rolls Royce Engines (Trent 7000s aboard the A330-900neo, Trent XWB aboard the A350-900s)
Airbus are cock-a-hoot with the news stating:
“When the most successful U.S. airline today – a company that has flown passengers around the world for more than 80 years, has 80-thousand employees and 165 million customers in a year – says ‘yes we want 50 more of your widebody planes’, you can’t debate the fact that it is a massive endorsement of your product line,”
Delta inherited its Airbus fleet when it purchased Northwest Airlines, and has placed orders for additional A330-300s and A321ceo aircraft since the fleet was integrated.
As for missions? The A350-900‘s have a target in their sight: The Boeing 747-400, with emphasis on operating between US and Asia. Meanwhile the A330-900neo will be targeting Transatlantic routes, along with US West Coast to Asia, replacing the older Boeing 767-300ER.
Delta is estimating 20% fuel savings by deploying these aircraft – which along with recent frequent flyer devaluations – should go to the bottom line.
Deliveries of the Airbus A350-900s should commence in 2017, and the A330-900neos join the party in 2019.
Lets not make bones, this is one hell of a win for Airbus who will be putting its planes on US base. In addition, some of these aircraft will be parked and operate out of Seattle – near enough Boeing’s back yard. As for Boeing, this will be a disappointment. Leeham News (which broke the story last night – I’ve waited till the press photos arrived to break my story), who were hoping to sell 777-200LRs and 787-9s.
Delta do have Boeing 787-8s on order (as a carryover from those ordered by Northwest), due for delivery from 2018 providing Delta is still interested in them.
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