Delta Air Lines says it will lease two new A330-900 aircraft from Los-Angeles-based lessor Air Lease Corporation beginning in the fourth quarter 2020 and first quarter 2021.
These additions to the fleet, as well as accelerated deliveries from Airbus, will bring the total number of A330neo aircraft in Delta’s fleet to 42 by early 2021.
"These two incremental aircraft represent an opportunistic play to fulfill our near-term widebody aircraft needs for our customers and employees as older generation aircraft are retired and to support measured growth in 2021," says Greg May, Delta's Senior Vice President for Fleet and Technical Procurement on 21 October.
The aircraft will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, with MRO to be performed by Delta TechOps, the airline added. In a separate statement, Rolls-Royce says the engine "is critical to delivering a fuel burn improvement of 14% per seat on the A330neo compared to its predecessor, and beats current and future noise and emissions targets."
In addition, the Atlanta-based airline says it has agreed with Airbus to accelerate further aircraft deliveries, and expects to take delivery of a total of seven A330-900s during 2020. The airline has four of the type in service, in addition to 11 earlier generation A330-200E and 31 A330-300E, Cirium data show.
Delta is the first airline in North America to operate the A330-900, and began using it to fly from Seattle to Shanghai in July. It also uses the aircraft for flights between Seattle and Seoul, and will operate it on the route between Seattle and Tokyo-Narita beginning on 27 October, Delta says.