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Last April, Delta placed an order for 75 Bombardier CS100 aircraft, with an option for 50 more, to replace some of its aging fleet of smaller single-aisle jets. With the delivery of the first twin-engine, Canadian-made airplane set for the spring of 2018, the Atlanta-based carrier has signaled its intention to base the new jets out of its hubs in New York and Los Angeles. The first revenue flight will operate from New York.

At its second-quarter earnings call in mid-July, Delta president Glen Hauenstein confirmed that “the first one’s going to go to New York,” although he didn’t specify if it was going to be John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) or LaGuardia Airport (LGA)Bloomberg News reported Monday that an internal memo was sent to Delta pilots informing them of preliminary plans for the upcoming aircraft, including possible flights to Dallas. The memo did not say whether JFK or LGA will get the first service.

0428 Ed at Bombardier
Image courtesy of Delta Air Lines

While no routes have been announced yet, Delta intends to use its new aircraft on flights currently served by the airline’s 76-seat Bombardier CRJ-900. These larger regional jets will in turn replace the smaller 50-seat Bombardier CRJ-100 and -200 and Embraer ERJ-145 aircraft in the airline’s network.

“As we reshape our fleet for the future, the innovative onboard experience of the C Series is a perfect complement for the top-notch service provided every day by Delta people,” said Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian.

The Bombardier CS100 is the smaller of two from Bombardier Aerospace’s C Series family of narrow-body jet airliners, which also includes the CS300. Powered by Pratt & Whitney’s PW1500G geared turbofan, the jet is touted as reducing noise and emissions, as well as improving fuel efficiency by up to 20% over earlier aircraft of the same size. For passengers, this new jet also brings wider seats (potentially up to 19 inches), big windows and capacious overhead bins. The CS100 can seat up to 133 people in a high-density layout; Delta says it is configuring it with 110 seats in a 2-3 main cabin and Delta comfort+ configuration, as well as a 2-2 first class layout.

Bombardier CSeries Farnborough
Inside a Bombardier CS100 on display at the Farnborough Air Show in 2016

Delta is the US launch customer of the CS100, with Swiss and airBaltic currently the only two other operators of the family. Many industry insiders have said that the carrier’s 2016 order, valued at $5.6 billion, may have saved the C Series program, if not Bombardier as a whole. The company was struggling financially as the CS program ran into delays and cost overruns, and received a $1 billion bailout from the government of Quebec a few months before the Delta order. Boeing has filed an official complaint accusing Bombardier of selling the CS100s to Delta at artificially low prices, an accusation that Bombardier has denied.

Featured image courtesy of Delta Air Lines.

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