Delta Expects Delivery Of 80 New Aircraft In 2020

Credit: Rob Finlayson

Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian said management expects delivery of 80 new aircraft in 2020, as the Atlanta-based carrier looks to replenish its aging fleet of more than 900 aircraft.

With an average fleet-wide age of over 15 years, Delta operates one of the oldest fleets of any U.S. carrier. Since 2011, the company has announced a series of large orders for newer narrow- and wide-body Airbus aircraft, including members of the A220, A320neo and A330neo families. Despite operating a large fleet of Boeing aircraft including the 717, 737, 757, 767 and 777, Delta currently has no orders in place for additional Boeing aircraft. 

While Bastian did not detail the specific breakdown of anticipated deliveries during the company’s 2019 fourth quarter earnings call Jan. 14, Aviation Week Fleet Data Services show that Delta currently has unfilled orders placed for 198 single-aisle aircraft (67 A220, 31 A321 and 100A321neo) and 45 twin-aisle aircraft (33 A330neo and 12 A350), although delivery of 10 A350-900s remains deferred until 2026. Delta plans to take delivery of two more A350s in first-quarter 2020, leaving it with 15 total, and retains the option to convert the remaining 10 to A330-900s before scheduled deliveries resume in the middle of the decade.

As it takes delivery of newer narrow-bodies, Delta will continue retiring its eldest single-aisle fleet components, including the McDonnell Douglas MD-88 and MD-90, with average ages of 28.6 and 23.5 years, respectively, along with its fleet of Boeing 757s, with an average age of roughly 22 years. On the widebody side, Delta plans to use newly delivered A330-900s to replace some of its Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, which have an average age of roughly 23 years. 

Delta topped analyst expectations in the fourth quarter, recording $1.1 billion net income on $11.4 billion revenue, up 8% and 7% year-over-year, respectively. Total full-year 2019 revenue increased 7.5% to a record $47 billion, while adjusted full-year net income rose 22% to approximately $4.8 billion.

Ben Goldstein

Based in Washington, Ben covers Congress, regulatory agencies, the Departments of Justice and Transportation and lobby groups.


1 Comment
For its love for Airbus and Bombardier aircraft and its support to Bombardier at the time of the spat between the Canadian OEM and Boeing, for a few years, I no longer fly on Delta Air Lines.