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.
Delta Air Lines serves nearly 165 million customers each year. This year, Delta was named the 2014 Airline of the Year by Air Transport World magazine and was named to FORTUNE magazine's top 50 Most Admired Companies in addition to being named the most admired airline for the third time in four years. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 333 destinations in 64 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs nearly 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft. The airline is a founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance and participates in the industry's leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia as well as a newly formed joint venture with Virgin Atlantic. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 15,000 daily flights, with hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK, New York-LaGuardia, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita. Delta has invested billions of dollars in airport facilities, global products, services and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Additional information is available on delta.com, Twitter @Delta, Google.com/+Delta, Facebook.com/delta and Delta's blog takingoff.delta.com.