In October, Airbus gained an edge with its hard-to-sell long-haul model when an anonymous customer ordered ten A330-900s. Now, it’s clear who was behind the order. It’s Delta Air Lines, as the aircraft manufacturer announced on Friday (November 16). This increases the number of A330 Neos ordered by Delta to 35. The additional aircraft will be needed for “short- and medium-term international expansion.”

The purchase is worth some $3 billion at list prices. However, Delta will very likely receive heavy discounts for ordering the jet.

As part of the order, Delta has confirmed that it will move the delivery of ten previously ordered A350-900s to 2025-26. The agreement also contains the right to convert the A350-900s orders to A330-900s.

Delta previously had 25 of each type of plane on order but now the airline wants to overlook their long-haul expansion.

“The A330-900 is going to be an important addition to Delta’s fleet,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s Chief Executive. “Airbus has infused this next generation of the successful A330 family with new technology and features providing advanced levels of comfort for our passengers and significant operating cost reductions that will make our airline stronger in the decades to come.”

“Expanding our A330neo order not only ensures that Delta’s near-to-medium-term widebody needs are taken care of but also drives our strategic, measured international growth,” said Gil West, Delta’s Chief Operating Officer, in a statement.

“Operational efficiency and an exceptional passenger experience are core to Delta’s successful recipe, and it speaks volumes that they have chosen the A330-900,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus’ Chief Commercial Officer. “Delta has been endorsing the Airbus wide-body family from the outset by committing to both the A330 and the A350. We are listening to our customers and proud to be in the position to flexibly respond to their fleet requirements for more A330s and equally appreciate the ongoing commitment for more A350s as part of their long-term growth strategy.”

The A330neo is powered by Rolls-Royce’s (RR.L) new Trent 7000 engine, which offers fuel savings. But it has suffered delays as the British company focuses on fixing extensive problems on a similar model that powers the Boeing (BA.N) 787.

The latest addition to the A330neo family, the Airbus A330-800, took its first flight last week.

With the new deal, Atlanta-based Delta’s A330neo order will grow from 25 to 35 jets. The airline also operates around 40 A330ceo aircraft.

Featured Image by Clément Alloing via

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