MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Delta Air Lines is ordering up to 70 regional jets from Bombardier as part of a major shift in the planes it uses for hauling passengers around the U.S.
Delta announced a firm order for 40 of the CRJ900 planes on Thursday, and options for 30 more. The deal would be worth $3.29 billion at list prices if Delta exercises the options, although discounts on such a big order are common.
The new planes are part of Delta’s shift toward larger jets. They’ll have 76 seats, making them smaller than Delta’s mainline planes but larger than other regional jets. The new planes also have first-class sections, allowing Delta to sell more seats at higher prices.
They’ll replace 50-seat jets currently flown on Delta’s behalf by regional airlines. Those 50-seaters have become unprofitable at higher fuel prices, and none of Delta’s 50-seaters have first-class sections.
Like other regional jets, the new planes will be flown by a regional partner on Delta’s behalf. The first of the new planes begin arriving late next year.
Delta is moving away from 50-seat and smaller regional jets. The airline has said it believes passengers prefer larger planes, especially on longer flights. In June, Delta pilots approved a new union contract that allows it to expand flying by large regional jets in exchange for phasing out more 50-seaters.
Delta already has 101 CRJ-900s flown by Pinnacle Airlines Corp., SkyWest Inc. and SkyWest’s ExpressJet unit. Those same airlines also fly the 50-seat CRJ-200s that Delta is in effect trading in to Bombardier for the new planes.
Delta spokesman Anthony Black said it isn’t known yet which regional airline will fly the new planes, or which ones will be losing the 50-seaters. Delta will still have 226 of those CRJ-200s, even after it sends 60 back to Bombardier.
Delta also has another 154 larger regional jets that have first-class seats.
Delta said this fall that it was looking for 76-seat regional jets. It’s a big win for Montreal-based Bombardier, whose small-jet regional jet business has been in the doldrums as other airlines also shift away from 50-seaters.
Shares of Atlana-based Delta Air Lines Inc. rose 27 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $9.98 in afternoon trading.
AP Business Writer Michelle Chapman in New York contributed to this report.
More Related Stories
- Here come the tornado truthers. Already
- Peace Corps to allow gay couples to volunteer together
- Moore officials: Funds for "safe rooms" were held up by red tape
- Rand Paul: Congress should apologize to Apple, not the other way around
- Rescue crews race to find tornado survivors
- Looting in Oklahoma?
- Hundreds of low-wage federally contracted workers strike in D.C.
- Okla. mother's tearful reunion with her 8-year-old son
- New campaign compares gun control to anti-LGBT discrimination
- Study: Salt Lake City is gay parenting capital of the U.S.
- Inhofe and Coburn: Red state hypocrites
- Teen activist to meet with Abercrombie CEO
- Watch: Family emerges from storm shelter after tornado
- Must-see morning clip: Barackalypse Now
- Okla. tornado survivor reunited with dog trapped in rubble live on camera
- Is Pope Francis an exorcist?
- Oklahoma death count confirmed at 24, 9 children
- Frantic parents search for children in tornado's wake
- Crews dig through rubble after deadly tornado
- 51 killed in massive Oklahoma tornado
- Don't cry climate-change wolf
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11