Delta Air Lines will purchase 100 Boeing 737-900ER aircraft in a bid to replace its ageing 757 fleet, but the carrier has delayed a decision on 100 more smaller narrowbody aircraft, industry sources confirm.
The exact timing of the announcement by Delta is unclear, say those familiar with the deal, but a formal announcement could come as early as this week.
Delta's search for a 757 replacement excluded the re-engined single aisle offerings from both Airbus and Boeing, the sources noted.
Boeing declined to comment on customer negotiations and Delta was unavailable for comment.
If confirmed, the order would be the largest single order for the 737-900ER, which entered service with Indonesia's Lion Air in 2007.
Delta has pushed the selection of a smaller narrowbody aircraft for fleet renewal out significantly, the sources added, opting to continue operating its fleet of Airbus A319s and A320s and Boeing 737-700s and 800s.
Delta's selection of a second block of 100 aircraft holds high stakes for Bombardier, which is looking to expand its order book with the 100 to 149-seat CSeries CS100 and CS300.
Delta issued a request for proposal to aiframers in January for up to 200 narrowbody aircraft to replace its older narrowbody fleet of 757-200s, A319s and A320s and DC9-10s starting in 2013.