Delta Air Lines contracted Airbus SAS for 50 new wide-body aircraft, an order that would be worth $14.3 billion at list prices, though reportedly worth about $6.2 billion due to discounts. The choice of Airbus over rival Boeing Commercial Airplanes is understood to have been made on the basis of promised delivery dates for the first jets by 2017. Delta, like other carriers, is working to modernize its fleet to meet increasing passenger volumes and to reduce fuel costs.
All the new jets will have Trent engines supplied by Rolls-Royce, which estimated the value of the placement at $5 billion.
“When the most successful U.S. airline today – a company that has flown passengers around the world for more than 80 years, has 80-thousand employees and 165 million customers in a year – says ‘yes we want 50 more of your wide-body planes’, you can’t debate the fact that it is a massive endorsement of your product line,” declared John Leahy, Airbus’ chief operating officer – Customers.
Airbus will supply Delta with 25 A350-900 jets and 25 A330-900neo aircraft. Currently, Delta Air Lines currently both Airbus single-aisle and wide-body aircraft, including 57 A319ceo and 69 A320ceo aircraft, plus 11 A330-200s and 21 A330-300s.
Also, Delta has 10 A330-300s and 45 A321ceo aircraft on order, meaning its “backlog” of new jets from Airbus totals 105 aircraft.
The A350 XWB is the new Airbus long-range, twin-engine wide-body aircraft series that will debut in 2015, a competitor to Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner. Airbus now lists more than orders for more than 800 of the A350 XWB jets, which is designed with extensive application for carbon-fiber materials for the fuselage and wings, to reduce weight and conserve fuel.
The Airbus A330 is a series of medium-range, twin-engine wide-body aircraft: Airbus announced two new versions in 2014, the A330-800neo and A330-900neo, the latter to be introduced in 2017. The Airbus A330-900neo is expected to consumer fuel at a rate of 14% less than the current A330 version, with room for 310 passengers (10 more than currently) thanks to an interior reconfiguration.
Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines will power the 25 Airbus A350 XWBs, and Trent 7000 engines will power 25 Airbus A330neo aircraft. The Trent XWB is a new turbofan engine specifically designed for the new A350, and according to Rolls it is the fastest-selling wide-body engine ever with more than 1,500 engines already sold.
The Trent 7000 was introduced earlier this year as the exclusive engine for the new A330neo models.
"We are pleased to be working closely with Rolls-Royce to power aircraft that will be a vital part of our future, providing a new level of excellence on our Pacific, Atlantic and Latin American routes," according to Nat Pieper, Delta Air Lines vice president of Fleet Strategy and Transactions.