Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) has reached an agreement with Airbus to acquire 37 additional A321s as part of its efforts to renew its narrowbody fleet.
The fuel-efficient A321s will replace older-generation jets, including the MD-88.
The agreement follows an announcement Thursday that Delta would become the US launch customer for Bombardier´s C-Series small narrowbody aircraft.
The additional Airbus A321s, which are being acquired near the end of the model´s production cycle, increases Delta´s A321 fleet to 82 and is consistent with the company´s previously announced domestic fleet plan. Delta is focused on reshaping its narrowbody fleet with customer-focused aircraft that offer lower operating costs and better fuel efficiency. The 37 aircraft will be delivered concurrently with existing A321 orders through 2019.
These transactions are part of Delta´s broader fleet strategy allowing the company to achieve its long-term financial targets, including 15 percent EPS growth and generation of USD4-5 billion in free cash flow annually, while replacing 20 percent of its mainline narrowbody fleet over the next five years.