ATLANTA, Dec. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) has finalized an agreement with Bombardier Aerospace that will allow the airline to continue restructuring its domestic fleet by replacing less efficient single-class 50-seat aircraft with new two-class 76-seat aircraft. As part of the agreement, Delta will acquire 40 new CRJ900 two-class regional jets, with the option to purchase an additional 30 CRJ900 aircraft, and Bombardier will assist Delta in phasing out 60 single-class CRJ200 aircraft.
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"The economics and customer features of the Bombardier CRJ900 made it the right aircraft to add to our Delta Connection fleet," said Delta President Ed Bastian. "Combined with the removal of 50-seat aircraft, this opportunity bolsters our ongoing fleet restructuring program to remove less efficient, smaller regional aircraft from the system."
The addition of the CRJ900 is the latest step in Delta's domestic fleet optimization plan focused on reducing inefficient flying, implementing strong capacity discipline by matching the right size aircraft to each market and improving the customer experience. The 76-seat CRJ900 will primarily replace less efficient 50-seat aircraft on a capacity-neutral basis. Retiring these aircraft reduces fuel and maintenance expense, improving Delta's cost structure and environmental profile.
This announcement follows previously announced transactions supporting Delta's domestic fleet optimization plan, including the addition of 88 Boeing 717-200 aircraft to primarily replace 50-seat aircraft, and acquisition of 100 new Boeing 737-900ER jets to replace Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft.
Delta will begin taking delivery of CRJ900, 717-200 and 737-900ER aircraft in the latter half of 2013.
This agreement also supports Delta's efforts to improve the customer experience. The 40 76-seat CRJ900 aircraft enhance Delta's efforts to offer customers more first class seats than any other airline. The CRJ900 will be configured with 12 seats in the first class cabin, 12 seats in Delta's popular Economy Comfort section and 52 seats in economy. The aircraft will feature Delta's all-leather seating in a two-by-two configuration with window and aisle seats only. Customers flying on Delta's regional aircraft will continue to have access to the planeside valet program, with the opportunity to drop off larger carry-on baggage at the boarding door and pick it up planeside upon arrival.
Larger two-class regional jets flying for Delta also offer in-flight Wi-Fi access, Delta's complimentary snacks and beverages, food available for purchase and complimentary first class meals on flights over 900 miles.
Delta's regional fleet currently features 255 larger two-class regional jets, including 101CRJ900 aircraft.
Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year. During the past year, Delta was named domestic "Airline of the Year" by the readers of Travel Weekly magazine, was named the "Top Tech-Friendly U.S. Airline" by PCWorld magazine for its innovation in technology, won the Business Travel News Annual Airline Survey and was the recipient of 12 Executive Travel Magazine Leading Edge Awards for U.S. airlines. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to nearly 315 destinations in 59 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft. A founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance, Delta participates in the industry's leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 13,000 daily flights, with hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita. The airline's service includes the SkyMiles frequent flier program, a world-class airline loyalty program; the award-winning BusinessElite service; and more than 50 Delta Sky Clubs in airports worldwide. Delta is investing more than $3 billion through 2013 in airport facilities and global products, services and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and review flight status at delta.com.
SOURCE Delta Air Lines