Delta Air Lines announced it is buying another 37 A321 jets from Airbus as it replaces older planes.
The 192-seat A321s will be equipped with in-flight wi-fi, live satellite TV on seat-back entertainment screens and power outlets in every row. Also inside the cabin will be “full-spectrum LED ambient lighting” that change depending on the phase of the flight.
Based on the current list price of $114.9 million for the single-aisle A321, the deal is worth nearly $4.3 billion — though airlines typically negotiate significant discounts for large orders.
The announcement comes just a day after Atlanta-based Delta announced it is ordering 75 narrow-body Bombardier CS100 jets to replace older aircraft, making it the U.S. launch customer for the CS100. The Bombardier deal is valued at roughly $5.6 billion based on the list price.
In written comments on the announcement Friday, Delta’s incoming CEO Ed Bastian called the Airbus deal “an opportunistic fleet move” that allows the airline to accelerate the retirement of its 116 MD-88s. The company plans to replace 20 percent of its mainline narrow-body fleet over the next five years.
That plane will begin flying Monday, May 2, with its first flight going from Atlanta to Orlando.
The new order will bring the number of A321s entering Delta’s fleet to a total of 82, all scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2019. Delta also has other planes from the “A320 family” in its fleet.
This year, Delta is taking delivery of a total of 15 A321s, most coming from Hamburg, Germany.
Eventually, the aircraft will be coming from Airbus’s new facility in Mobile, Ala.
Delta is also taking delivery of new Boeing 737-900ERs from Seattle.
Bastian said Thursday he believes Delta’s order made Bombardier “a third competitor,” along with Boeing and Airbus, “and we’re thrilled to be able to have that choice in the marketplace.”
MORE FROM THE AJC: