The airline industry is very competitive and must constantly evolve to win customers and be profitable. This includes refreshing existing aircraft and purchasing new planes with innovative offerings. Aircraft manufacturers are always improving existing models and offer clean sheet designs to meet these demands.
A220: Delta just recently started passenger service on February 7thwith their new Airbus A220 planes. The initial routes include New York (LGA) to both Boston (BOS) and Dallas (DFW). Launching later this year are 8 additional routes including Detroit (DTW) and Minneapolis (MSP) to Houston (IAH). In total, Delta has 75 Airbus A220s on order. Each aircraft features 12 First Class, 15 Delta Comfort+, and 82 Main cabin seats. The most recent announcement by Delta calls for a total of 90 A220s (40 –100 series and 50 -300 series)
A321neo: The A321 is not a new airframe for Airbus or Delta but starting in 2020 Delta will take delivery of its first A321neo. The variant’s initials, “neo” stand for new engine opinion and include several cabin improvements. Delta has ordered 100 aircraft which are expected to replace the 757s and MD-90s. The new configuration will have 20 First Class, 30 Delta Comfort+, and 147 Main Cabin seats.
A330neo: Delta has opted to outfit these new aircraft with the well-received Delta One Suite for the premium cabin. The A330neo are expected to replace routes currently operated by Delta’s aging Boeing 767-300ER. Currently Delta has 35 aircraft ordered with a configuration of 29 Delta One Suites, 28 Premium Economy, 40 Delta Comfort+, and 184 Main cabin seats.
Retrofitting 767-400ER: While Delta plans to retire the 767-300 version, the 767-400 model is slated for a mid-life cabin modernization in 2019. The retrofit will include Delta One suites as well as Premium Economy for a great selection of flying experiences. In total, Delta has 21 aircraft in operation which mainly fly transatlantic routes. The entire fleet retrofit is expected to be completed by 2021 and will help Delta stay competitive.
Retrofitting 777-200ER/LR: As of the writing of this article, Delta is finishing up the retrofitting of their remaining 777-200ER. The aircraft is one of the largest commercial airliners in production and capable of flying very long-range flights. In total, Delta Air Lines has eighteen 777 (10 -200LR and 8-200ER) aircraft operating on a mix of transatlantic and transpacific as well as South Africa. Once retrofitted, these new 4-cabins aircraft feature Delta One Suites, Premium Economy, Delta Comfort+, and Main Cabin seats.
As an operator of one of the oldest fleets for a US airline, its exciting to see Delta receiving numerous new aircraft. Each new model continues to improve fuel efficiency, expand passenger experiences, and create new route opportunities.
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