Delta Air Lines believes the mission for its 100 Boeing 737-900ERs scheduled for delivery starting in 2013 is to replace its 757s.

Carrier EVP of network planning Glen Hauenstein outlined the new aircraft's mission at Delta's recent investor day.

Some of Delta's 757s were delivered as far back as 1982, said Hauenstein. Those aircraft need to be retired during their next heavy check. Delta also accepted deliveries of the last 757s built in the mid 1990s.

Flightglobal's ACAS database shows a total of 173 757s in Delta's fleet - 157 -200s and 16 -300s.

At the same event Delta president Ed Bastian described the 737-900ER as a bridge aircraft for the airline, noting there are long-term needs in the narrowbody mission the carrier needs to address.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news