Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) has reached an agreement with Airbus to purchase 15 A321 aircraft for delivery beginning in 2018. The economically efficient, proven-technology A321s will replace similar, less-efficient domestic aircraft that are being retired from Delta's fleet.
"This opportunistic aircraft order continues Delta's disciplined, capital efficient approach to fleet renewal," said Delta CEO Richard Anderson. "These new airplanes will improve the flying experience for our customers and benefit our shareholders."
Delta's first A321 will begin service in early 2016, with 20 First Class seats, 23 extra-legroom seats in Economy Comfort and 149 seats in Economy, which are among the widest in the industry. Each A321 will feature in-flight Wi-Fi, industry leading in-flight entertainment with live satellite TV and on-demand options, and standard 110v power at every seat.
With today's announcement, Delta now has 45 A321s on order, aircraft that are common with the 126 Airbus narrowbody aircraft currently in the Delta fleet. All of Delta's Airbus narrowbody aircraft feature CFM56 engines produced by CFM International, a joint venture of General Electric Co. and Snecma (Safran) of France.
This aircraft order is consistent with the company's previously announced fleet and capital plans. Delta targets reinvesting approximately 50 percent of its operating cash flow back into the business, resulting in $2 to $3 billion of capital expenditures annually through 2018, with $2.3 billion planned for 2014.
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