Delta Air Lines has placed an order for fifty new Airbus widebody jets, according to a story broken Wednesday afternoon by Leeham News. The deal is said to be worth $6.2 Billion, and will include 25 A350-900s and 25 A330neos.
The order is considered to be a major victory for Airbus, and a big defeat for Boeing, who has pretty much dominated the widebody market for U.S. carriers for decades. Boeing was hoping to sell their 787-9 Dreamliner and 777-300ER to Delta, but there's an 850-plane backlog for the Dreamliner, so Boeing couldn't promise delivery to Delta at the time the planes will be needed. Along with United and American, Delta is one of the coveted "Big Three" U.S. carriers that buy widebody jets.
Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine (photo courtesy Rolls-Royce)
Delta's new order also means that Rolls-Royce just sold 100 engines, because they're the exclusive engine supplier for both planes. Their Trent 7000 will power the A330neo, while the Trent XWB powers the A350.
Delta also ordered 40 planes from Airbus in 2013, in a deal comprised of 10 A330s and 40 A321s. As of June of this year, Delta operated 126 Airbus A320-type planes and 32 A330s, inherited via their 2008 merger with Northwest. Delta will use these planes to replace older Boeing 747s and 767s, according to the Seattle Times. Delta will begin taking deliveries of A350s in 2017, and A330neos in 2019. Delta does have an 18-plane 787 order on the books with Boeing, but they have deferred it until after the year 2020, and some say Delta may end up completely canceling that order.
Top photo: Delta A350 rendering, posted to Twitter by @AirlineFlyer