Delta Air Lines Expands Fleet with New Airbus A321neo Order

A computer-generated rendering of Delta’s Airbus A321neo. (Airbus)

Delta is continuing its 2021 fleet modernization strategy with a new agreement that will add 30 Airbus A321neo aircraft to its fleet.

The aircraft are being converted from purchase rights into firm orders under an existing A321neo agreement Delta has with Airbus. This marks the latest order conversion activity between Delta and the French airframe manufacturer, following a similar transaction in April when Delta and Airbus converted 25 A321neo purchase rights into firm orders and added 25 incremental A321neo options, according to an Aug. 24 press release.

“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,” said Mahendra Nair, Delta’s S.V.P. – Fleet and TechOps Supply Chain. “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.”

There is currently 121 total of the A321ceo family and the newly announced purchase commitments bring the total firm orders to 155 A321neo aircraft. Powered by the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G turbofan engines, Airbus claims that the A321neo has 12 percent greater fuel efficiency on a per-seat basis than A321ceo aircraft.

Delta revealed its new design for A321neo premium seats last year. (Delta Air Lines)

Interior seating accommodates up to 194 passengers, with 20 in First Class, 42 in “Delta Comfort+” and the final 132 in the main cabin. In May, Delta agreed to a deal with Viasat that will deploy the company’s in-flight connectivity (IFC) on more than 230 aircraft, including select aircraft from the A321neo fleet.

“As the industry looks to emerge from the pandemic, Delta is showing responsible leadership and casting a strong vote of confidence now in the A321neo,” Christian Scherer, Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International said in a statement. “With orders for 30 more of an aircraft that is in very high demand around the globe, our partners at Delta are underscoring the strategic role they see for the A321neo with its outstanding environmental performance for the airline’s renowned customer service and reliability for years into the future.”

Delta has purchase rights for an additional 70 A321neos. The airline expects to take delivery of its first A321neo in the first half of 2022, with deliveries of these aircraft continuing through 2027.

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