Delta’s first of 45 Airbus A321s took its maiden flight last week as the aircraft begins roughly 30 days of pre-delivery testing and proving runs at Airbus’ facility in Hamburg, Germany.

Expected to begin service in early May, the narrowbody jet will start on routes from Atlanta to destinations in Florida before being deployed in longer range markets. Delta will take delivery of 15 A321s in 2016, first from Hamburg and eventually from Airbus’ newest production facility in Mobile, Ala. An additional 30 deliveries will take place through 2018.

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The plane will feature 20 First Class seats, 29 Delta Comfort+ seats and 143 seats in Main Cabin, which are among the widest in the industry. Customers will enjoy Wi-Fi, seat-back entertainment with Delta Studio and live satellite TV and 110v power available to customers throughout the aircraft.

The new jets will also feature a state-of-the-art cabin with high-capacity overhead bins and ambient lighting to create an airy, modern in-flight experience.

The economically efficient, proven-technology A321s will replace similar, less-efficient domestic aircraft that are being retired from Delta’s fleet. It is also the first Airbus at the airline to feature aerodynamic, fuel-saving Sharklet wingtip devices, similar to blended winglets seen on Delta’s Boeing 737 and much of the Boeing 757 fleet. Last year, Delta began installing split-scimitar winglets on Boeing 737-900ERs to improve overall efficiency.

Stay tuned to Delta News Hub for Airbus A321 delivery updates.

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