Delta will add 20 new Airbus A350-1000 widebody aircraft as part of its ongoing effort to renew and simplify its fleet, improve fuel efficiency, and provide a world-class in-flight experience.
Delta currently operates 28 A350-900 aircraft. Following this announcement, Delta has placed an order for 36 next-generation A350 aircraft, boosting the fleet to over 60 by the end of the decade.
“The A350-1000 will be the largest, most capable aircraft in Delta’s fleet, and it is an important step forward in our international expansion,” said Delta’s CEO, Ed Bastian. “The aircraft complements our fleet and offers an elevated customer experience, with more premium seats, best-in-class amenities, and expanded cargo capabilities.”
The aircraft will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines, a more powerful variant of the engine used on the A350-900. The aircraft are more than 20% more fuel efficient than older models, contributing to Delta’s long-term sustainability goals.
“We are thankful for Delta’s continued confidence in Airbus’ solutions to meet its fleet needs,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus’ Chief Executive Officer for Commercial Aircraft. “Delta welcomes the A350-1000, which will open even more opportunities for the airline and its customers”.
The aircraft will primarily be used in long-haul markets and international hubs to support Delta’s global expansion, replacing retiring aircraft and fuelling growth. Delta is expanding its worldwide reach and expects to operate the busiest international schedule this year.
The new higher-gauge aircraft will have world-class amenities, including about 15% more premium seats than retiring aircraft, such as Delta One Suites, Delta Premium Select, and Delta Comfort+, in addition to Main Cabin. It will also include over 1,000 hours of complimentary in-flight entertainment from Delta Studio and free, fast Wi-Fi and premium food and beverage options.
Customers will also like the A350-1000’s spacious and quiet cabin, high ceilings, expansive bin space, and customised ambient lighting to alleviate fatigue and jet lag on long-haul flights.
Delta has signed an arrangement with engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce to service the XWB-97 engines.
The financial specifics of the arrangement were not disclosed. The procurement falls within Delta’s previously announced capital investment and capacity targets.
With this announcement, Delta now has 284 narrowbody and 48 widebody aircraft on order for delivery in the coming years.