Delta orders more new Airbus A321neo aircraft, moves up deliveries of wide-bodies
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Delta Air Lines said Thursday that it had placed an additional 25 firm orders for Airbus A321neo aircraft, and added an additional 25 options That brings the airline to a total of 125 firm orders for the jets, with 100 purchase rights.
The A321neo fleet will be the first to feature Delta’s new domestic first-class seat, which will feature a memory foam cushion, increased privacy, extra storage and a larger tray table compared to the current domestic first seats.
The airline said it expects to take delivery of the first plane in the first half of 2022. The aircraft were initially expected to begin arriving in late-2020. However, the coronavirus pandemic has led to delays across supply chains and manufacturers, while diminished travel demand has made airlines reluctant to take too many deliveries until travel begins to pick back up.
Delta also said it had moved up the scheduled delivery dates on two existing A350-900 orders and one A330-900neo, which will now be delivered in the second half of 2022.
The three wide-bodies should help boost Delta’s fleet as long-haul international travel continues to return post-pandemic. The airline retired its recently refurbished Boeing 777 fleet last May.
The new orders come as Delta and other airlines begin to look past the coronavirus pandemic to plan for travel over the next decade. While business travel and long-haul international demand are expected to remain depressed into next year, domestic and regional leisure demand is climbing steadily as Americans react to the COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
Featured image courtesy of Delta
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