More than 200 Delta employees will check out an Airbus A350-900 today, two years before a number of the aircraft join the fleet.
The airline announced in November it had ordered 25 fuel-efficient Airbus A350-900 and 25 Airbus A330-900neo jets to replace some transoceanic Boeing 767-300ERs and the Boeing 747-400s fleet, which are reaching the end of their life.
Airbus brought the aircraft to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport this week as part of its Americas tour, including stops in a number of cities to provide airlines and airport operations teams an opportunity to get familiar with the plane. Delta’s A350 Entry Into Service teams, made up of subject matter experts from each operational division, will spend several hours with the jet as well to ensure its entry into service is a smooth one.
The decision to purchase 50 Airbus widebody jets came after a months-long review of proposals from Boeing and Airbus by a cross-divisional Delta team, and follows a careful consideration of the airline’s overall fleet needs.
Delta fleet acquisition strategy is built on evaluating an airplane’s total cost of ownership – the sum total of long-term operating and maintenance costs, purchase price and other factors — and is key to Delta’s continued financial success.
The fuel-efficient Airbus A350-900 will operate primarily on long-haul trans-Pacific routes and are an important component of Delta’s restructuring to optimize its Asia-Pacific network.
Delta will take delivery of the A350-900 starting in the second quarter of 2017 through 2020.