<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Delta Airlines (NYSE: DAL) is the biggest customer of Airbus& # 39; (NASDAQOTH: EADSY) nascent A220 aircraft program, with 75 orders for the A220-100 at the end of November. It is expected that the carrier will introduce the A220-100 to 109 seats in its fleet earlier this year, as it continues to discourage the throwing of 50 fuel-thirsty and uncomfortable berths. "Data-reactid =" 11 ">Delta Airlines (NYSE: DAL) is the largest customer of Airbus& # 39; (NASDAQOTH: EADSY), innovative A220 aircraft program, with 75 orders for the A220-100 at the end of November. It is expected that the carrier will introduce the A220-100 to 109 seats in its fleet earlier this year, as it continues to discourage the throwing of 50 fuel-thirsty and uncomfortable berths.

In fact, Delta is so enamored with the A220 that it recently ordered 15 others. This time, the American giant of the airline buys the largest model A220-300. At the same time, the company has upgraded about half of its existing orders from the smaller A220-100 model to the A220-300 model.

Delta loves the A220

<p class = "canvas-atom-canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "The A220 family started life as BomberCSeries aircraft program from. While its major rivals were looking to improve their existing models, the struggling Canadian jet manufacturer was taking a considerable risk by developing a clean sheet design that could offer unparalleled performance. In April 2016, Delta was a winning customer. The airline's US giant has ordered 75 CS100 jetliners with 109 seats to be delivered between 2018 and 2021. "data-reactid =" 14 "> The A220 family started life as BomberCSeries aircraft program from. While its major rivals were looking to improve their existing models, the struggling Canadian jet manufacturer was taking a considerable risk by developing a clean sheet design that could offer unparalleled performance. In April 2016, Delta was a winning customer. The airline's American giant has ordered 75 109-seat CS100 jets for delivery between 2018 and 2021.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Delta has touted the potential of the aircraft for reducing its unity The most efficient jet ever, as well as the A220 – which takes its current name from Bombardier transferred a majority stake in the program at Airbus in the face of headwinds, its seats are wider than those of competing aircraft, giving customers a more comfortable ride. "data-reactid =" 15 "> Delta has touted the potential of the aircraft to reduce its unit costs, The most efficient jet in history.He also noted that the A220, which takes its current name Bombardier transferred a majority stake in the program at Airbus, faced with serious business difficulties – its seats are wider than those of its competitors, which gives customers a more comfortable ride.

A rendering of an A220-300 in the livery of Delta

More

Delta recently added 15 A220 to its backlog. Source of picture: Delta Air Lines.

<p class = "canvas-atom web-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Despite some delivery delays related to a commercial complaint filed by BoeingDelta has received its first four A220s by the end of 2018. It has not yet put them into commercial service, but apparently the carrier likes what it sees enough to engage in an even larger A220 fleet. "Data-reactid =" 28 "> Despite some delivery delays related to a commercial complaint filed by BoeingDelta has received its first four A220s by the end of 2018. It has not yet put them into commercial service, but apparently the carrier likes what it sees enough to engage in an even larger A220 fleet.

More of a good thing

In addition to expanding its A220 backlog, Delta has also decided to add the larger A220-300 to its fleet. The 15 recently ordered aircraft will all be A220-300s. Delta is also upgrading 35 of the remaining 71 aircraft from its initial order to the A220-300. Airbus will deliver the A220-300s of its new assembly line to Mobile, Alabama, between 2020 and 2023.

Delta Air Lines plans to configure its A220-300s with 130 seats, an increase of 19% over the A220-100. The difference in operating costs between the two models is much less than that. After all, both planes require two pilots, three flight attendants and pretty much the same maintenance work.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "As a result, by shifting the orders of the A220 -100 to his big brother, Delta will continue his efforts to maintain non-fuel unit costs roughly flat beyond 2020. And even though it's hard to fill every seat of a bigger plane, Delta's large, efficient hubs should minimize the impact on revenue from the upgrade from the A220-300. "data-reactid =" 32 "> As a result, by transferring orders from the A220-100 to its big sister, Delta will continue its efforts to maintain non-fuel unit costs roughly flat beyond 2020. And if it is difficult to fill all the seats of a bigger plane, Delta's large, efficient hubs should minimize the impact on the unit's revenues. from the upgrade to the A220-300.

There could be many more orders in the future

Some of Delta's new A220s can be used for growth, but most will be used to replace the 50-seat jets eliminated from the fleet or the aging MD-80 and MD-90 aircraft that are set to retire. Yet even after the completion of the fleet upgrade projects, Delta's need for the A220 will not be completed.

Delta Air Lines currently operates 91 Boeing 717s with 110 seats and 57 A319s with 132 seats. Both fleets have an average age of 17, with older aircraft of these types being about 20 years old. The A220-100 and A220-300, respectively, would be an ideal replacement for these older models, reducing maintenance costs and significantly improving energy efficiency.

By the time the current A220 delivery flow ends in 2023, Delta may be ready to replace its old 717s and A319s. Airbus can therefore reasonably expect many subsequent orders like this one from Delta Air Lines over the next ten years or so.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = " More from The Motley Fool "data-reactid =" 37 "> More from The Motley Fool

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Adam Levine-Weinberg owns shares of Delta Air Lines. Motley Fool owns shares in Delta Air Lines. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy."data-reactid =" 45 ">Adam Levine-Weinberg owns shares of Delta Air Lines. Motley Fool owns shares in Delta Air Lines. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.