Delta Air Lines placed an estimated $3-billion order with Airbus SE for 10 more A330-900 aircraft, modifying an earlier order and raising its commitment to the A333neo program to 35 aircraft, making it the largest customer to date for the wide-body aircraft program. The actual value of the order may be less once various discounts are applied.
The A330neo ("new engine option") a new version of the wide-body, twin-aisle aircraft series under development now, and portrayed as an alternative to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, offering improved fuel economy for high-capacity, long-distance routes. The twin-engine jets are powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines.
Launch customer TAP Air Portugal took delivery of the first variant (A330-800) earlier this year, and it’s expected to conduct the first commercial flight during December.
“The A330-900 is going to be an important addition to Delta’s fleet,” stated Delta CEO Ed Bastian. “Airbus has infused this next generation of the successful A330 family with new technology and features providing advanced levels of comfort for our passengers and significant operating cost reductions that will make our airline stronger in the decades to come.”
In addition to 10 more A330neos, Delta will defer delivery of 10 A350 XWBs it previously order to 2025-26, to accommodate “long-term growth strategy," Airbus noted. The carrier currently has a fleet of 42 A330s.
Delta currently operates 11 A350-900 aircraft and is set to take delivery of four more during 2019-2020. Delta’s A330 fleet stands today at 42 widebody aircraft.
“Delta has been endorsing the Airbus wide-body family from the outset by committing to both the A330 and the A350,” stated Christian Scherer, Airbus chief commercial officer. "We are listening to our customers and proud to be in the position to flexibly respond to their fleet requirements for more A330s and equally appreciate the ongoing commitment for more A350s as part of their long-term growth strategy.”