Delta Air Lines plans to introduce its first Bombardier CS100 in early 2019, with deliveries set to begin later this year.

The Atlanta-based carrier anticipates taking delivery of a "handful" of aircraft in the fourth quarter with entry-into-service early in the new year, says Delta chief executive Ed Bastian during a quarterly earnings call today.

Delta will configure the aircraft with 110 seats and use them to displace 76-seat regional jets in markets where demand warrants the additional capacity.

Executives have previously indicated that the airline will fly the CS100 from coastal hubs in Los Angeles, New York and Seattle to mid-continent points, including ones in Texas.

Delta can begin taking CSeries aircraft this year following a trade ruling in favour of the Canadian airframer in January. The US International Trade Commission ruled then that Bombardier's sale of CS100s to the airline did not constitute a threat to Boeing, and threw out a proposed 292% import duty on the aircraft.

The carrier has declined since the ruling to comment on its CSeries delivery plans.

Bombardier plans to deliver 40 CSeries aircraft to customers in 2018. It was on-track to meet this goal in March when it achieved a four-aircraft-per-month handover rate.

Delta planned to take 15 CS100s in 2018 when it ordered 75 of the aircraft two years ago. However, programme delays and the trade case has pushed that schedule back.

In addition to the CSeries, Delta is scheduled to take delivery of 31 Airbus A321s, five Airbus A350-900s and 23 Boeing 737-900ERs this year.

Source: Cirium Dashboard