23 March 2013

Delta Air Lines prefers A330s or B777s to update the wide-body fleet, instead of considering the new B787s or the A350 XWB.

Delta Airlines is considering buying as many as 20 wide-body jets from Airbus or Boeing  with a list value of at least $4.3 billion, people familiar with the matter said.
The order under study is for 10 to 20 Airbus A330s or Boeing 777s, said the people, who declined to be identified because the negotiations are private. Deliveries would start within a few years, one person said. Delta already has both plane types in its fleet.

Purchasing the jets would bridge Delta’s wide-body needs until the end of the decade, when Airbus’s more efficient A350 and Boeing’s 787-10 Dreamliner will have been in service for several years and would have any kinks worked out, one person said. Delta CEO Richard Anderson has said he prefers buying established models with proven reliability, which are cheaper over the long term, even if they consume more fuel.

“Delta has the most contrarian fleet strategy in the industry,” said Richard Aboulafia, known consultant at Teal Group. “Others have exuberance for the fuel efficiency race, and Delta is saying there are other ways of getting to the same goal. And it’s working for them.”
Delta signaled earlier this month that it might consider new twin-aisle planes, when President Ed Bastian said at a JPMorgan Chase & Co. conference that the airline may find “opportunities in the marketplace selectively to add to our wide bodies.” Bastian said Delta would talk to both Airbus and Boeing.
But Delta hasn’t decided on long-term aircraft needs such as the 787 or A350. “I don’t see that there’s going to be a need for making a decision on the long-term wide-body fleet anytime soon,” Mr. Bastian said at a press briefing in London.

Based on the article “Delta Said to Study Order for $4.3 Billion in Wide-Bodies” published in Bloomberg

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