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Delta orders 20 737-900ERs, buys used E190s

Delta Air Lines has reached a new agreement to purchase 20 used Embraer 190s from Boeing Capital and order 20 new Boeing 737-900ERs from the airframer.

The Atlanta-based carrier will begin flying the E190s in early 2017 and is extending its 737-900ER delivery schedule by a year into 2019 with the order today, it says.

“This aircraft order is another example of Delta’s unique fleet strategy to deploy a mix of new and used aircraft, maintain low capital costs and leverage significant capacity flexibility to produce superior returns for our shareholders,” says Greg May, senior vice-president of supply chain management at Delta, in a statement.

The deal follows a purchase agreement for 40 737-900ERs and the 20 E190s that the airline cancelled in July following the rejection of a new labour agreement by its pilots.

Delta cites “more compelling economics” for the deal announced today.

The agreement does not come as a surprise.

“The E190s may make an appearance again,” said Ed Lohr, managing director of fleet planning at Delta, hinting that a new agreement was in the works at the Ascend West Coast Finance Forum in November.

Delta take delivery of the E190s from 2016 in order to outfit the interior, train staff and prepare for entry-into-service of the new type to its fleet, a spokesman says.

The E190s were previously flown by Air Canada.

Delta will continue to take delivery of the 100 737-900ERs it ordered in 2011 through 2018, Flightglobal’s Fleet Analyzer shows. It had options for 30 737s prior to the order announced today.

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