Delta Air Lines has ordered 12 more Airbus A220 jets, as it continues to replace smaller aircraft with larger planes.
Atlanta-based Delta exercised options for the 12 A220-300 aircraft, which are narrow-body planes with 130 seats and will be delivered in 2026 and 2027. The planes will each have 12 first class seats, 30 Comfort+ seats and 88 seats in the main cabin.
Delta, the largest operator of A220s, already has 14 A220-300s and 45 of a smaller version of the A220, the A220-100 with 109 seats. It started flying the A220 in 2019.
By exercising the latest option, Delta now has 60 A220-300s on order and says the move is an important step toward simplifying its fleet and adding more fuel-efficient aircraft.
Delta President Glen Hauenstein said last week during a conference call on the company’s financial results that the airline has long planned to grow by using larger airplanes instead of increasing the number of flights it operates.
“The pandemic accelerated that,” Hauenstein said. Delta has significantly cut back its Delta Connection regional jet flying in recent years, and contract regional carriers have been struggling with pilot shortages.
Delta also plans to stop using smaller 50-seat regional jets this year, replacing them with larger aircraft with first class seats.