Delta Air Lines Orders Second-hand Boeing 737-900ER, A330neo

Delta Air Lines Orders Second-hand Boeing 737-900ER, A330neo

DALLAS – In its quarterly report, Delta Air Lines (DL) disclosed that it has placed orders for four pre-owned Boeing 737-900ER aircraft, expected for delivery this year, as well as an additional Airbus A330-900 aircraft due for delivery in 2025.

The Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson Airport (ATL)-based carrier is known for its approach of acquiring used, mid-life aircraft and operating them for a longer period of time than many of its competitors. It now runs 159 Boeing 737-900ER aircraft, 29 of which are secondhand aircraft obtained from different Lion Air Group carriers.

The airline now has 23 Airbus A330-900s on order from Airbus, bringing the total number in its order book. There are 15 Airbus A330-900s currently flying for DL.

In five years, DL says it will move its focus to large narrowbodies, as the A330 and A350 deliveries continue. In addition to the three units of the type previously delivered, it has 152 Airbus A321-200NX on order. However, it has been widely reported that it is about to place an order for 100 Boeing 737-10s, marking its first Boeing 737 MAX commitment.

According to CH-Aviation, the airline currently operates twenty-four A350-900s and has a further ten on order – eight from Airbus and two more from LATAM Airlines Brasil (LA).

The airline has 903 aircraft in its fleet and flies to 294 destinations with a network of 897 routes and 4778 daily flights.

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DELTA AIR LINES N404DX AIRBUS A330-900. Photo: Michael Rodeback/Airways

Comments from Delta Airlines CEO

“We have focused a lot of our energy in the last few years on the widebody and specifically the A350-900s and the A330-900s, and we are pleased with the used A350s that we have acquired [from LATAM Airlines Brasil]. And we have got a pretty healthy stream of widebodies coming,” Chief Executive Ed Bastian said during the investor call.

Bastian added that as the deliveries of the A330s and A350s progress, DL would turn its attention to “large narrowbodies” in five years’ time.

“We have an opportunity in the next three to five years for delivery of some additional large narrowbodies, and that’s something that we are always talking to Airbus and Boeing about. Whether that’s used or whether that’s new, there is opportunity there. I would say the focus in the back end of the five-year period is on the large narrowbodies,” Bastian said.

Bastian also commented on the current capacity crisis affecting US and EU aviation, underlining that DL was rapidly growing its staff to address the stronger than anticipated demand.

“Close to 2,000 of our pilots took [voluntary redundancy packages] in the summer of 2020. And it’s easy to have a revisionist history and wonder whether we should have done that or not should have done that. But you put yourselves back in the summer of 2020 when the total revenues were probably less than 20% of 2019 levels.”

The CEO added, “There was no knowledge of what a vaccine could do, when it would be found, the effectiveness, etc. I don’t look back with any regret at all about those decisions.”

“By the latter part of 2025, 2026, and 2027, I think we will be in a great spot with respect to our pilot staff.”

Delta Air Lines Chief Executive Ed Bastian

Featured image: N877DN, Delta Air Lines Boeing 737-900ER @KSLC. Photo: Michael Rodeback/Airways

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