Delta announced yesterday that they are looking to buy up to 50 wide-body jets and currently studying replacements for both their Boeing 747-400 and 767-300ER planes, each with an average of about 20+ years. However, CEO Richard Anderson said no deal would come any time soon and that Delta will continue its “watch and wait” strategy to reduce potential technical risks and allow the jets to prove themselves before looking at any new or altered models including the 787 and a potential A330neo. Delta currently operates 16 747-400s and 74 767-300s as per Flightglobal.
Reuters reports that:
The prospect for an order for dozens of wide-body jets from Delta, widely seen as one of the most conservative buyers of new capacity, would trigger fierce competition between Boeing and European rival Airbus. Delta is seen as a prime customer for a potential revamp of the Airbus A330, which the European manufacturer is considering updating with new engines to help airlines reduce fuel bills. Delta bought 10 current-generation A330s last year. Airbus has not said whether it plans to go ahead with the “A330neo” but is expected to take a decision later this year and interest from Delta could be decisive, industry sources say. However, Delta could expand its fleet of existing models of the Boeing 777. Delta has 18 next-generation Boeing 787s on order and has not ruled out expanding the airline’s order for Boeing 787s, inherited from its 2008 takeover of Northwest Airlines, but called on Boeing to reduce prices to compete against the A330, which Delta had helped to launch in the United States.