Delta accepts seven-year term on 717 lease

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Delta Air Lines has agreed to lease used Boeing 717-200s for more than seven years, according to Boeing's aircraft financing arm.

Boeing Capital submitted a quarterly earnings update to the Securities and Exchange Commission that includes more details of the 7 July transaction.

Delta has agreed to take over the leases on 88 717s operated by AirTran Airways, which is now owned by Southwest Airlines and is transitioning to a common fleet of Boeing 737s.

AirTran initially will sublease the 717s to Delta beginning in 2013 as the fleet, the Boeing filing says. As the sublease expires, Delta has committeed to lease the 717s for another seven years, the filing adds.

AirTran's 717s are the largest single fleet of aircraft leased by Boeing Capital, with a total carrying value of $1.23 billion. AirTran's lease payments represent 18% of the financing firm's yearly revenue, the filing says.

Delta intends to deploy the fleet mainly to replace 50-seat regional jets.