Delta has entered into agreements to add 29 used Boeing 737-900ERs and lease seven used Airbus A350-900s as it continues to streamline and modernize its fleet. The 36 additional aircraft will improve fuel efficiency and enhance the customer experience, while supporting Delta’s fleet renewal strategy focused on simplification, scale, size and sustainability.
“These aircraft are an investment in Delta’s future,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian. “As we look past the pandemic, Delta’s disciplined, innovative approach to fleet renewal positions us for growth as travel demand returns
, while enhancing the customer experience and supporting our sustainability commitments.”
The COVID-19 pandemic provided an opportunity to simplify Delta’s fleet and accelerate retirements of 18 widebody 777s, and the MD-88 and MD-90 narrowbody fleets, all of them older and less efficient. The pandemic also provided unique business opportunities to add newer generation aircraft at attractive prices.
Widebody fleet renewal is instrumental to Delta’s recovery
, and will help position Delta for sustained profitability and future growth. As Delta’s flagship aircraft, the A350 provides a world-class customer experience, enhances cargo capacity, reduces unit costs and contributes to a more sustainable future.
The next-generation A350s burn 21 percent less fuel per seat than the 777s they replace. Improved fuel efficiency is paramount to Delta’s ongoing efforts to reduce its carbon emissions and its Flight to Net Zero. The acquisition of 29 narrowbody 737-900ERs also complement Delta’s existing fleet.
Delta will lease the A350s through AerCap and purchase 27 of the 737-900ERs from funds managed by Castlelake, L.P., while the remaining two 737-900ERs will be financed from funds also managed by Castlelake, L.P. Both transactions are subject to closing conditions. Deliveries of the aircraft will be completed by the first quarter of 2022, and they will enter service after modifications are completed.
In addition to the seven A350s that are part of this announcement, Delta currently has 15 A359s in service and 20 on order. The addition of the 29 737-900ERs will bring the total to 159 in its fleet.
The agreement follows Delta’s decision in April to exercise options on 25 additional A321neo jets, which will start to deliver next year. Those aircraft offer the lowest seat costs in Delta’s fleet.
Forward Looking Statements
Statements made in this press release that are not historical facts, including statements regarding our estimates, expectations, beliefs, intentions, projections, goals, aspirations, commitments or strategies for the future, should be considered “forward-looking statements” under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are not guarantees or promised outcomes and should not be construed as such. All forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the estimates, expectations, beliefs, intentions, projections, goals, aspirations, commitments and strategies reflected in or suggested by the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the material adverse effect that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on our business; the impact of incurring significant debt in response to the pandemic; failure to comply with the financial and other covenants in our financing agreements; the possible effects of accidents involving our aircraft; breaches or security lapses in our information technology systems; breaches or lapses in the security of technology systems on which we rely; disruptions in our information technology infrastructure; our dependence on technology in our operations; our commercial relationships with airlines in other parts of the world and the investments we have in certain of those airlines; the effects of a significant disruption in the operations or performance of third parties on which we rely; failure to realize the full value of intangible or long-lived assets; labor issues; the effects of weather, natural disasters and seasonality on our business; the cost of aircraft fuel; the availability of aircraft fuel; failure or inability of insurance to cover a significant liability at Monroe’s Trainer refinery; the impact of environmental regulation on the Trainer refinery, including costs related to renewable fuel standard regulations; our ability to retain senior management, key employees and our culture; significant damage to our reputation and brand, including from exposure to significant adverse publicity; the effects of terrorist attacks or geopolitical conflict; competitive conditions in the airline industry; interruptions or disruptions in service at major airports at which we operate or significant problems associated with types of aircraft or engines we operate; the effects of extensive government regulation on our business; the impact of environmental regulation and climate change risks on our business; and unfavorable economic or political conditions in the markets in which we operate.
Additional information concerning risks and uncertainties that could cause differences between actual results and forward-looking statements is contained in our Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020. Caution should be taken not to place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements, which represent our views only as of the date of this press release, and which we undertake no obligation to update except to the extent required by law.