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Delta Air Lines to Add 29 Used Boeing 737-900ERs and Seven Leased Airbus A350-900s to Fleet

Delta Air Lines will add 36 aircraft to their fleet including 29 used Boeing 737-900ERs and Seven used A350-900s on lease from AerCap. The additional aircraft will support the airline’s fleet renewal and simplification strategy as travel demand recovers.

Delta Airbus A350-900 - Courtesy Delta Air Lines

On Tuesday (July 13, 2021), Delta Air Lines announced that in order to support travel demand recovery, they will add 29 used Boeing 737-900ERs and seven used Airbus A350-900s on lease from AerCap to their fleet. The 36 additional aircraft will help the carrier improve fuel efficiency and enhance the customer experience, while supporting Delta’s fleet renewal strategy based on simplification, scale, size and sustainability. During the pandemic, Delta accelerated the retirement of 18 Boeing 777s, as well as MD-88 and MD-90s. The market environment has also presented the opportunity to add newer generation aircraft at attractive prices.

In today’s announcement, Delta Air Lines’ CEO, Ed Bastian, said,

“These aircraft are an investment in Delta’s future. As we look past the pandemic, Delta’s disciplined, innovative approach to fleet renewal positions us for growth as travel demand returns, while enhancing the customer experience and supporting our sustainability commitments.”

Delta’s widebody fleet renewal strategy is part of the carrier's recovery plans and will help the airline achieve sustained profitability and future growth. The Airbus A350 is Delta’s flagship aircraft, providing a world-class guest experience, enhanced cargo capacity and reduced unit costs. The next-generation Airbus A350s deliver a 21 percent reduction fuel burn per seat compared to the 777s they replace. Delta will lease the seven Airbus A350-900s from AerCap, while the 27 of the 737-900ERs will be purchased from funds managed by Castlelake, L.P., with the remaining two 737s financed from funds also managed by Castlelake. Deliveries of the aircraft are expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2022.

In a separate announcement today, AerCap Holdings’ CEO, Aengus Kelly, said,

“This is a significant transaction for AerCap with one of the largest and most successful airlines in the world. We are delighted to support Delta’s ambitious commitment to sustainability by leasing these seven Airbus A350 widebodies, which are proven to significantly reduce carbon emissions and external noise footprint over previous-generation aircraft. We thank Ed and the team at Delta for the confidence and trust they have placed in AerCap, and we look forward to working with them for many years to come.”

In addition to the seven leased Airbus A350-900s announced today, Delta currently has 15 A350-900s in operation and 20 more on order. The 29 additional 737-900ERs will expand the total number of the aircraft type in Delta’s fleet to 159.

Source(s): Delta Air Lines, AerCap Holdings N.V.

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