Delta will grow its A320 Family with an order for 15 A321ceo (current engine option) aircraft to offset jet retirements. The airline has selected CFM56-5B engines from CFM International to power the newly ordered A321ceo aircraft, which are scheduled for delivery starting in 2018. CFM International is a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran) and GE.
Delta currently operates a large fleet of Airbus aircraft, including 126 A320 Family aircraft and 32 A330s. The order announced today brings Delta’s backlog to 45 single-aisle Airbus A321 and 10 widebody Airbus A330 aircraft.
“The A321’s economic efficiency and product offering relative to the aircraft they will replace ensures that this opportunistic transaction will enhance profitability, customer satisfaction, and shareholder value for Delta,” said Nathaniel Pieper, Delta’s Vice President – Fleet Strategy and Transactions.
“Airbus is excited to offer Delta comfortable and efficient aircraft that fit its demanding financial and customer satisfaction goals,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers. “It is clear that the quality, comfort and economy of the aircraft were the right fit."
All of Delta’s A321s will feature fuel-saving Sharklets – lightweight composite wingtip devices that offer 4 percent fuel-burn savings. This environmental benefit gives the airline the option of extending its range up to 100 nautical miles/185 kilometers or increasing payload capacity by some 1000 pounds/450 kilograms.
Many of Delta’s A321s will be delivered from Airbus’ brand-new A320 Family assembly line, currently under construction in Mobile, Alabama. Hiring is underway at the facility, and aircraft assembly will begin there next year. By 2017, the Mobile facility is expected to produce four aircraft per month.