Delta Air Lines has placed an important order with Bombardier for its state-of-the-art C Series, jetliner, becoming the U.S. launch customer, for the all new clean-sheet design airplane.
Delta has placed firm orders for 75 CS100s with options for 50 more and the aircraft will enter service in the spring of 2018. Delta will also have the option to convert some of its options for the larger CS300.
"As we reshape our fleet for the future, the innovative onboard experience of the C Series is a perfect complement for the top-notch service provided every day by Delta people," said Ed Bastian, Delta's incoming chief executive.
"These new aircraft are a solid investment, allowing us to take advantage of superior operating economics, network flexibility and best-in-class fuel performance."
The CS100 will be deployed on Delta’s short- to medium-haul routes throughout the airline's network.
Delta will no longer induct the E190 into its fleet as planned. Delta has long-term financial targets, to generate $4-5 billion in free cash flow annually, while replacing less efficient domestic aircraft.
"Given Delta's position as one of the world's largest and most respected airlines, this deal is a strong endorsement of the C Series as the best performing aircraft in the 100-150 passenger class.
The addition of Delta to our marquee C Series customer list gives us tremendous momentum as we approach entry-into-service this summer,” said Alain Bellemare, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bombardier Inc.
Delta has been replacing inefficient, older technology airplanes generating substantial cost.
Since 2009, Delta has retired 280 50-seat regional jets since 2009 and more than 130 older, narrowbody aircraft, at the same adding more than 300 aircraft. Fuel use per passenger mile has been reduced by 8 percent since 2008.
The CS100 is powered by Pratt & Whitney's latest geared turbofan PW1500G engine and is expected to deliver a 20 percent improvement in fuel efficiency over similar sized aircraft.