Fresh from issuing a request for proposal (RFP) to manufacturers for up to 200 narrowbody replacement aircraft, Delta Air Lines management appears impressed with both the re-engined A320neo and the Bombardier CSeries.
Carrier chief executive Richard Anderson during the carrier's fourth quarter earnings call specifically labelled the Pratt & Whitney PW1000G series geared turbofan (GTF) powerplant as a "viable engine", and highlighted the roughly 20% improvement in fuel efficiency the engine should deliver.
Citing oil prices around $95 per barrel, Anderson states the GTF's fuel efficiency projection is "significant".
While Boeing has not stated its intentions for a re-engined or clean-sheet 737, Anderson explains that in the negotiations regarding the RFP Boeing will need to "match the numbers" of the aircraft powered by the GTF.
Delta also plans to retire about 100 aircraft during the next 18 months, the carrier states, largely comprising 50-seat regional jets, Saab 340 turboprops and DC9s.