PICTURE: First look at Delta’s 717s

Delta Air Lines unveiled its Boeing 717-200 today, giving travellers a first look at the aircraft that will soon be a staple at many of the small- and medium-sized airports in the carrier’s network.

717_fuselage

717 exterior

Delta Air Lines

Configured with 12 first class, 15 premium economy and 83 economy seats, the aircraft will initially be based at Delta’s Atlanta home with flights to Newark scheduled to begin on 19 September.

717 interior

Delta Air Lines

The aircraft is one of 88 that Delta is subleasing from Southwest Airlines as part of its regional fleet renewal programme, which includes adding 70 76-seat Bombardier CRJ900s and removing more than 200 50-seat regional jets by the end of 2015.

The 717 will mostly replace 76-seat aircraft throughout Delta’s system with the smaller jets subsequently replacing 50-seaters, under what Glen Hauenstein, executive vice-president of marketing, network planning and revenue management, calls a “reverse cascade in terms of gauge”.

The airline anticipates having 16 717s in its fleet by the end of the year and taking three a month thereafter until all 88 are delivered.

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