Delta Air Lines has ordered 100 new single-aisle aircraft from Airbus SAS, an order reportedly worth more than $12.7 billion at current list prices. The new jets will be the Airbus A321neo ACF model, a twin-engine narrow-body design available with a choice of Pratt & Whitney PW1133G-JM or CFM International LEAP-1A engines, sharklet wing fixtures to increase fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions, and a cabin redesign.
Airbus emphasized that most of the 100 aircraft will be delivered from its U.S. manufacturing plant in Mobile, Ala. That operation has already manufactured 13 A321 jets for Delta, and is now producing four aircraft per month since its start-up last year.
The order is portrayed as a big win for Airbus over rival Boeing Commercial Airplanes, though Delta has operated several A321s since incorporating the Northwest Airlines fleet following their 2007 merger, and since 2013 it has booked several orders for new Airbus jets. Currently, Delta operates 196 Airbus jets, including 150 of the A320 series, 42 A330 wide-bodies, and four A350 XWB aircraft.
The order also features a hint of politics, a Boeing challenged a recent Delta purchase of Bombardier CS series narrow-body aircraft – which triggered a U.S. Commerce Dept. investigation and led to import penalties being attached to future domestic sales of those jets. In the midst of that controversy, Bombardier sold a 50% stake in the CS series program to Airbus.
Delta’s order calls for the Pratt & Whitney geared-turbofan engine option.
Delta also chose the Airbus Cabin Flex option, which increases the seating capacity from 221 to 240 by removing the second door pair in front of the wing and incorporating a second overwing exit.
“Delta, Airbus, and Pratt & Whitney share the same commitment to safety, efficiency, innovation and continuously improving the customer experience,” according to Delta CEO Ed Bastian.