Airbus has scored a significant order today from one of the giants of the air – Delta.
The order is for:
- 30 Airbus A321ceos (current engine option)
- 10 Airbus A330-300s
Looking at the A321s, these will be based on current design with sharklets – not the A321neo that a lot of airlines are interested in. They will be configured in 20 First Class seats, 22 Economy Comfort and 148 seats in the Economy cabin, with IFE at seat, WiFi, LiveTV, AVOD and power.
The Airbus A330s will be the -300 variant, designed for payload rather than range. However, Delta will launch the new higher weight A330, allowing more payload and range than previous A330-300s. These will operate across the Pacific and Atlantic. The aircraft will be configured in 34 BusinessElite full-flat seats, 32 Economy Comfort and 227 Economy seats, with all the bells and whistles of a AVOD IFE system with WiFi.
The list price of the aircraft alone is over US$5.6 Billion, however – with an order of this size (and this prestige), I would suspect that there has been a reasonable discount applied.
Delta has traditionally been a Boeing shop (in fact, it is in the process having the first of a batch of 737-900ERs being delivered), and only took on Airbus aircraft when Delta took over Northwest Airlines (who operated Airbus A319s, A320 and A330-200/-300s – as well as a variety of Boeing aircraft), so for Delta to order with Airbus is a big push for the manufacturer who has been battling lots of Boeing orders in the USA.
In fact, the last time an order like this came from Delta was over 20 years ago.
There’s also the point that these aircraft are both approaching the end of their current production runs – with airlines looking towards the A320neo families and A350XWB – however these aircraft are available now at a reasonable cost.
The aircraft will be delivered between 2015 and 2017.
It’s good to see an airline actively manage its growth and cost bases, and this seems a logical step forward to boost a fleet, whilst having a flexible fleet to respond to the changing needs of passengers.