With its CEO Ed Bastian calling it “….an investment in Delta’s future”, the Atlanta-based airline has announced agreements that will add 29 used Boeing 737-900ERs and seven used Airbus A350-900s to its fleet. Delta has a long history of entering into lucrative contracts for previously owned aircraft, while at the same time improving fuel efficiency with newer aircraft replacing older ones such as the Boeing 777, MD-88 and MD-90.
Delta also continues to receive new aircraft such as the narrow body Airbus A220 into its fleet along with another 25 A321neo (new engine option) aircraft, which over time will replace older Boeing 757s and Airbus A320s. Northwest Airlines, which merged with Delta in 2008, was the launch customer in 1986 for Airbus in the U.S. when it ordered the A320 to replace outdated Boeing 727s. Delta inherited these aircraft when the merged was finalized.
The added Boeing 737-900ERs (extended range) ideally complement Delta’s current fleet of 77 Boeing 737-800s and 159 existing -900ERs. The A350s have become the carrier’s flagship aircraft, replacing its Boeing 747s and 777s which have all been retired. Over time the A350, of which Delta currently has 15 with 25 on order, will surpass its existing fleet of 43 Airbus A330s
Delta’s current fleet includes more than 800 aircraft ranging in age from nearly new (A220), to 23-25 years of age (Boeing 757, 767 and Airbus A320). The airline plans to continue its ongoing process of modernization while it improves fuel burn and upgrades its customer experience with more current aircraft.
Luckily, with Delta’s Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport hub continuing to grow with new routes and additional flights, MSP travelers will be able to experience more of these aircraft in the not too distant future. Delta flies to more than 120 destinations daily from the Twin Cities, including all major cities as well as international destinations in Canada, Mexico and Europe. Flights to Asia are projected to resume when COVID-19 travel restrictions allow.