MIAMI – Delta Air Lines (DL) continues to build up its fleet renewal by adding 30 Airbus A321neo to its standing order with the European manufacturer.

With this decision, DL takes a leading position in the recovery and looks forward to the future by adding reliable and low-emissions types of aircraft with the aim to increase scale economies, improve operational simplification, and productivity. By these additions, DL wishes to position itself in a way to take full advantage of the growth in travel demand in the years to come.

At the same time, DL drive is to achieve carbon neutrality by the replacement of older types with new technology and fuel-efficient aircraft and drive toward its Flight to Net Zero plan. The state-of-the-art A321neo aircraft, a large gauge single-aisle aircraft, is DL’s most fuel-efficient aircraft in the fleet and is well adapted to DL’s domestic network.

This last order, which is a conversion of previous purchase rights, follows a similar transaction that took place in April 2021 when DL converted 25 options for the Airbus A321neo in firm orders while adding 25 incremental options on the same aircraft. DL already operates 121 aircraft of the A321ceo family with six more awaiting delivery.

Photo: Airbus

Meeting the Needs for Fleet Replacement

With this last addition, DL purchase commitment for the A321neo stands at 155 aircraft plus it has convertible options for 70 supplemental A321neo, thus meeting the carrier needs in terms of future fleet replacement of older, fuel-consuming narrow-body aircraft. DL currently has 288 purchase commitments for both wide and narrow-bodied jets.

Deliveries, many of them from Airbus’s facility in Mobile, AL, US, are expected to begin during the first six months of 2022 and continue up to 2027. Since 2016, the Airbus Mobile Manufacturing Facility has delivered 87 US-built aircraft to DL.

The A321neo is equipped with Pratt & Whitney PW1100Gn turbofan engines, ensuring a 12% better efficiency in fuel consumption per seat when compared to sister aircraft A321ceo. Their maintenance will be assured by DL Tech Ops at the carrier’s Maintenance and Repair facility at Atlanta Airport (ATL).

The airline’s A321neo aircraft are configured with 194 seats out of which 20 in First class, 42 in Comfort+, and 132 in the main cabin. The new type will be used in complement with the 121 Airbus A321ceo already in service.

A321neo equipped with Pratt & Whitney PW1100Gn turbofan engines at takeoff. Photo: Airbus

Comments from Delta and Airbus

"Delta appreciates the extensive partnership with the Airbus team in support of our strategic growth plans, and we look forward to continuing to work together throughout the recovery and in the years ahead." Mahendra Nair, DL Senior Vice… Click To Tweet

Mahendra Nair, DL Senior Vice President, Fleet and TechOps Supply Chain commented on the order by saying, “Adding these aircraft strengthens Delta’s commitment to replacing older fleets with more sustainable, fuel-efficient jets, and offers the best customer experience in the industry.”

On the Airbus side, the order was welcomed by Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer with these words, “Our partners at Delta are underscoring the strategic role the A321neo will play as the highly efficient platform for Delta’s renowned customer service and reliability for many years into the future.”

Article sources: Delta Air Lines, Airbus press releases

Featured image: Delta Air Lines Airbus 321neo. Photo: Airbus Media