Delta defers first 787 delivery to 2020

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Delta Air Lines has reconfirmed its order for 18 Boeing 787-8s but has deferred deliveries to between 2020 and 2022.

Ending extended uncertainty around the state of its 787 order, Delta disclosed today in a filing with the US Security and Exchange Commission that it has entered into an agreement with Boeing to reaffirm the order. As part of the agreement Delta discloses it has deferred delivery of the 18 aircraft, which originally were slated to arrive between 2008 and 2010, to between 2020 and 2022.

Delta inherited the $2.2 billion order from Northwest Airlines. The two carriers completed their merger last year.

Northwest was initially allocated two of the original six flight test aircraft, Airplanes Three and Four. But this changed when the first three aircraft were determined to have no value. The remaining three that are being used in the flight test programme are now set aside for potential VIP usage.

Delays to the 787 programme earlier prompted Delta to extend the life of its Boeing 747-400s. Delta earlier this year unveiled plans to refurbish its 14 747-400s, which will continue operating routes to Asia that were originally slated to receive 787s.

The 18 aircraft order also includes options for an additional 50 aircraft, although the regulatory filing appears to reflect only the firm orders.