Delta Air Lines has agreed with Airbus to place an expanded A321-200 order for 30 firm additional aircraft and to defer 10 of the airline’s 25 A350-900 aircraft deliveries set for 2019-2020 by two to three years with additional delivery flexibility.
Delta’s delivery schedule for its first A350-900 aircraft remains in place and the airline plans to operate its first A350 revenue flight in the fourth quarter, featuring the Delta One Suite and Premium Select cabin. Delta expects to take delivery of five A350s in 2017.
“These agreements better align our widebody and narrowbody order books with our fleet replacement needs,” said Gil West, Delta’s Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “We appreciate the partnership of Airbus, Rolls-Royce and GE Aviation as we exercise what’s best for our business, our employees and our customers.”
Delta currently operates 19 A321s and this expansion will bring the total firm delivery aircraft from 82 to 112 by 2021. The A321 aircraft will primarily be deployed on U.S. domestic routes as older domestic-gauge aircraft retire during the next several years.
“Delta’s vote of confidence in the A321ceo, which takes the airline now to more than 100 of the type on order, demonstrates the passenger, operator and investor appeal of this aircraft,” said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer – Customers for Airbus Commercial Aircraft. “The A320 Family truly delivers unsurpassed comfort, economy and reliability for airlines like Delta that pay attention to what their customers want.”
Many of Delta’s A321s are being delivered from the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama. The airline received its first U.S.-manufactured A321 last year. By the end of 2017, the Airbus facility in Mobile is expected to produce four aircraft per month, most going to Airbus’ U.S. customers.