Delta Air Lines has announced a significant update to its fleet, with the addition of 20 new Airbus A350-1000 widebody aircraft. This move is part of Delta’s ongoing effort to modernize its fleet, enhance fuel efficiency, and provide a superior in-flight experience. These aircraft will be equipped with Rolls Royce Trent XWB-97 engines, a more powerful variant than those used in the A350-900.
The A350-1000s are noted for being over 20% more fuel-efficient compared to the planes they are replacing, aligning with Delta’s long-term sustainability objectives. Delta’s current fleet includes 28 A350-900s, and with this latest acquisition, the airline’s order for next-generation A350 aircraft totals 36, projecting an A350 fleet of over 60 by the end of the decade.
“We are thankful for Delta’s continued confidence in Airbus’ solutions to meet its fleet needs,” said Christian Scherer, Chief Executive Officer of the Commercial Aircraft business, Airbus. “Delta was the first U.S. airline to operate the A350-900, and is doing so with great success. Delta now welcomes the A350-1000, which will open even more opportunities for the airline and its customers. We are proud that our aircraft serve the entirety of Delta’s impressive global network as this stellar airline takes fleet efficiency to the next level.”
Operational Efficiency and Reduced Emissions of A350-1000
Operational efficiency is a key advantage of the A350-1000, leading to reduced fuel consumption and emissions, as well as lower operating and maintenance costs. Passengers will benefit from the Airbus Airspace cabin, known for its spacious and tranquil environment, wide seats, high ceilings, and adjustable ambient lighting, all designed to minimize fatigue and jet-lag on lengthy flights.
Primarily designated for long-haul and international routes, the A350-1000 will be instrumental in Delta’s international expansion and will replace older, retiring aircraft. Delta aims to operate its largest-ever international schedule this year.
“The A350-1000 will be the largest, most capable aircraft in Delta’s fleet and is an important step forward for our international expansion,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s Chief Executive Officer. “The aircraft complements our fleet and offers an elevated customer experience, with more premium seats and best-in-class amenities, as well as expanded cargo capabilities.”
Upgraded Cabin Amenities and Increased Premium Seating in New Aircraft
The aircraft’s cabin is expected to feature a larger number of premium seats, approximately 15% more than the retiring planes. These include Delta One Suites, Delta Premium Select, and Delta Comfort+, along with the Main Cabin. Additional amenities include over 1,000 hours of free in-flight entertainment from Delta Studio, complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, and premium food and drink options.
Delta's Agreement with Rolls Royce for Engine Maintenance Services
Delta has also entered into a service agreement with Rolls Royce for the maintenance of the XWB-97 engines. While financial details of the deal remain undisclosed, the order falls within Delta’s pre-established capital expenditure and capacity targets.
With this acquisition, Delta Air Lines continues to expand its Airbus fleet, which currently numbers over 450 aircraft, ranging from the A220 to the A350-900, with over 200 more aircraft on order.