ATLANTA: Delta Air Lines Inc ordered 100 of Airbus SE’s A321neo jetliners, a deal with a list value of $12.7 billion, in a major victory for the European plane maker over Boeing Co.
Deliveries of the single-aisle planes will begin in early 2020 and the transaction includes options for an additional 100 aircraft, Delta said in a statement Thursday, December 14. The airline’s decision dealt a setback to Boeing’s efforts to sell its newest 737 model, the Max 10.
Delta chose the Airbus planes after battling Boeing in a trade dispute involving another narrow-body plane, Bombardier Inc’s C Series. Boeing persuaded the US Commerce Department to slap 300 per cent duties on the new Canadian plane, contending that Bombardier sold the C Series to Delta at well below cost.
The carrier’s Airbus jets will be powered by Pratt & Whitney’s geared turbofan engines, giving the United Technologies Corp division a boost after a series of manufacturing hurdles, delivery delays and technical glitches with the turbine.
The A321neos will replace Delta’s 1990s-vintage McDonnell Douglas MD-90 jets, as well as ageing Boeing 757 and Airbus A320 aircraft. Delta is expected to use the new planes for domestic flights and shorter international routes. The carrier will outfit Airbus’ longest narrow-body jet with seating for 197 people, including 20 in first class.