Delta Keeps 787s, Defers Deliveries Into Next Decade
By Mary Jane Credeur
Delta Air Lines Inc., the world’s second-largest carrier, reaffirmed its order for 18 Boeing Co. 787-8 jets, while deferring deliveries into the next decade.
Delta and Boeing reached the agreement during the third quarter, the airline said today in a regulatory filing. Northwest Airlines Corp., which Delta bought in 2008, was slated to take deliveries of the 787 planes between 2008 and 2010. Boeing has delayed the plastic-composite jet’s entry into commercial service six times, into 2011’s first quarter, after initially planning a May 2008 debut.
Delta is pushing out the delivery schedule of the widebody jets because it already has 180 planes capable of ocean-crossing flights, with an average age of about 11 years. Chief Executive Officer Richard Anderson said as recently as April that the company is “in good shape in terms of trans-ocean airplanes right now.”
Delta spokesman Trebor Banstetter declined to comment on the Atlanta-based company’s order beyond the regulatory filing.
“We are pleased that Delta Air Lines has reaffirmed its order for 18 firm 787 Dreamliners,” said Jim Proulx, a Seattle- based spokesman for Boeing. He declined to comment on delivery schedules or other terms of the Delta discussions.
Delta’s order is valued at about $3 billion, using average list prices on Chicago-based Boeing’s website.
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