US-based carrier Delta Air Lines said it has finalised an agreement with Canadian airframer 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 (NYSE: DAL) 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.
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 carrier said.
According to Delta, the76-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.
The latest announcement follows previously announced transactions supporting Delta's domestic fleet optimization plan, including the addition of 88 Boeing (NYSE: BA) 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 said it will begin taking delivery of CRJ900, 717-200 and 737-900ER aircraft in the latter half of 2013.
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