Delta Air Lines has placed a firm order with Airbus for 30 A321ceo (current engine option) and 10 A330-300 aircraft. This order marks a strong return to Airbus since Delta’s last order some two decades ago. The airline has selected CFM56-5B engines from CFM International to power its A321s and CF6-80E1 engines from GE Aviation for its new A330s. Deliveries of Delta’s new A330s are slated to begin in 2015, and its first A321 is scheduled for 2016 delivery.
As a result of the merger of Delta and Northwest Airlines, Delta currently operates a large Airbus fleet, including 126 A320 Family aircraft, plus 32 A330s.
“We are always gratified by a significant order from a current operator, as it is the best endorsement of the value and dependability of the Airbus product line,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer – Customers. “We have longstanding partnerships with the Delta team. Nonetheless, this is the first-ever Delta order for our modern family of comfortable and efficient A320 and A330 aircraft. We look forward to seeing the growth of the Airbus fleet at Delta meet and exceed the needs of the airline’s customers and employees for many years to come.”
"Delta is excited to select Airbus to partner with us as we continue our fleet renewal," said Ed Bastian, Delta's President. "These A330 and A321 aircraft offer a combination of economic efficiency and excellent customer satisfaction, which we experience with the 158 Airbus aircraft currently in our fleet."
All of Delta’s A321s will feature Sharklets – lightweight composite wingtip devices that offer up to 4 percent fuel-burn savings, providing the flexibility of either adding 100 nautical miles range or increased payload capability of nearly 1000 pounds (up to 450 kilograms).
Many of Delta’s A321s are expected to be assembled at the brand-new Airbus assembly line in Mobile, Alabama, currently under construction and scheduled to deliver its first aircraft in 2016. The facility represents a $600 million dollar investment in the Gulf Coast region, and will provide 1,000 new jobs in that community.
Delta’s A321s will seat 190 people in two classes. The A321 is the largest member of the A320 Family – the world’s best-selling and most modern single-aisle aircraft Family. To date, over 9,800 A320 family aircraft have been ordered and more than 5,600 delivered to nearly 390 customers and operators. With proven reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family has the lowest operating costs of any single-aisle aircraft.
Delta has selected the 242-metric-ton version of the A330-300 to grow its widebody fleet. This new enhancement to the aircraft type benefits from up to 500 nautical miles of extra range, with the ability to carry nearly five metric tons more payload than the previous 235-metric-ton A330-300. About 1.2 billion passengers around the world have enjoyed travelling on board the light, bright and spacious A330 cabin to and from the 300 airports it serves today. Delta’s A330-300s will seat 293 passengers in two classes. More than 1,250 A330s have been ordered to date.