Delta Air Lines is continuing its narrowbody fleet renewal with the confirmation of an order for the Bombardier CSeries. The firm order for 75 CS100s from a major airline gives a huge boost to the CSeries programme which had been struggling to establish its credibility on the market.
As the U.S. launch customer, Delta says the arrival of the CS100s will allow it to “reshape and upgauge” its narrowbody fleet, allowing the company to achieve its long-term financial targets, including 15% EPS growth and generation of $4-5bn in free cash flow annually, while replacing less-efficient domestic aircraft.
Powered by Pratt & Whitney's geared turbofan PW1500G engine, the CS100 is designed to deliver a 20% improvement in fuel efficiency over similar-sized aircraft when it enters service with Delta in spring 2018. The reduced noise and emissions of the CSeries aligns with Delta's broader goal to reduce the airline's environmental footprint.
The CS100 will be deployed on short- to medium-haul routes throughout the airline's network. As part of the transaction, Delta has options for 50 additional CSeries aircraft and certain delivery flexibility rights including the ability to substitute the larger CS300 aircraft.
Delta has been replacing inefficient, older technology airplanes generating substantial cost improvement and increased customer satisfaction. Since 2009, Delta has retired 280 50-seat regional jets and more than 130 older, narrowbody aircraft, while refreshing its fleet with over 300 aircraft. Delta is phasing out some of its less fuel-efficient planes, reducing fuel use per passenger mile by 8% since 2008.