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Dec. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) has finalized an agreement with Bombardier Aerospace that will allow the airline to continue restructuring its domestic fleet by replacing less efficient single-class 50-seat aircraft with new two-class 76-seat aircraft. As part of the agreement, Delta will acquire 40 new CRJ900 two-class regional jets, with the option to purchase an additional 30 CRJ900 aircraft, and Bombardier will assist Delta in phasing out 60 single-class CRJ200 aircraft.
"The economics and customer features of the Bombardier CRJ900 made it the right aircraft to add to our Delta Connection fleet," said Delta President
Ed Bastian. "Combined with the removal of 50-seat aircraft, this opportunity bolsters our ongoing fleet restructuring program to remove less efficient, smaller regional aircraft from the system."
The addition of the CRJ900 is the latest step in Delta's domestic fleet optimization plan focused on reducing inefficient flying, implementing strong capacity discipline by matching the right size aircraft to each market and improving the customer experience. The 76-seat CRJ900 will primarily replace less efficient 50-seat aircraft on a capacity-neutral basis. Retiring these aircraft reduces fuel and maintenance expense, improving Delta's cost structure and environmental profile.
This announcement follows previously announced transactions supporting Delta's domestic fleet optimization plan, including the addition of 88 Boeing 717-200 aircraft to primarily replace 50-seat aircraft, and acquisition of 100 new Boeing 737-900ER jets to replace Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft.
Delta will begin taking delivery of CRJ900, 717-200 and 737-900ER aircraft in the latter half of 2013.
This agreement also supports Delta's efforts to improve the customer experience. The 40 76-seat CRJ900 aircraft enhance Delta's efforts to offer customers more first class seats than any other airline. The CRJ900 will be configured with 12 seats in the first class cabin, 12 seats in Delta's popular Economy Comfort section and 52 seats in economy. The aircraft will feature Delta's all-leather seating in a two-by-two configuration with window and aisle seats only. Customers flying on Delta's regional aircraft will continue to have access to the planeside valet program, with the opportunity to drop off larger carry-on baggage at the boarding door and pick it up planeside upon arrival.