Delta Air Lines fleet

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This article is about the mainline Delta Air Lines Fleet, including the historical fleets of Delta Air Lines. For the fleet of Delta's former regional subsidiary, see Comair.

As of November 2016, the Delta Air Lines mainline fleet comprises 839 aircraft in service, making it one of the largest airline fleets in the world. Before merging with Northwest Airlines in 2009, Delta Air Lines operated an all-Boeing and McDonnell Douglas fleet; it incorporated Northwest's Airbus aircraft into its fleet following the merger and subsequently ordered further Airbus types. Delta is known for its policy of generally buying older generation or used aircraft and for continuing to fly aircraft for 20–30 years, much longer than most other major airlines. As such, it has one of the oldest fleets of any American airline, with an average fleet age of 16.9 years as of August 29, 2016.[1] Fellow legacy carriers American Airlines and United Airlines have much younger fleets; as of April 29, 2016, American had an average fleet age of 11.2 years, while United had an average fleet age of 13.6 years.[2]

Current fleet[edit]

Fleet overview[edit]

As of November 13, 2016, Delta's fleet consists of 839 Airbus, Boeing, and McDonnell Douglas aircraft. Delta's 480 Boeing aircraft make up about 60% of its fleet, while its 178 Airbus aircraft and 181 McDonnell Douglas aircraft each make up about 20%. Delta's narrow-body aircraft comprise about 80% of its fleet at 688 aircraft, while its 151 wide-body aircraft comprise the remaining 20%.

Delta operates the largest fleets of the Boeing 717, the Boeing 757, the Boeing 767, the McDonnell Douglas MD-80, and the McDonnell Douglas MD-90 worldwide. It is one of only two airlines worldwide operating the Boeing 767-400ER (the other being United Airlines), and the only airline still operating the MD-90 in the world. It is also one of only two passenger airlines in the United States operating the Boeing 747-400 (the other being United Airlines).

Delta has one of the oldest fleets of any American airline, with an average fleet age of 16.9 years as of 2016. Its oldest aircraft types are the MD-88, Boeing 767-300, and Boeing 747-400, which have an average age of 26.2, 24.7, and 24.5 years, respectively. Its youngest aircraft types are the A321-200 and Boeing 737-900ER, which have an average age of 0.2 and 1.7 years, respectively.[1] While Delta is sometimes thought to always purchase older generation or used aircraft, this is not always the case, as evidenced by its order of 25 A350s and 25 A330neo aircraft in November 2014 and its order of 75 Bombardier CSeries 100 aircraft in April 2016.

Delta primarily uses its narrow-body aircraft for domestic flights within the United States and for international flights from the United States to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Most of its McDonnell Douglas MD-88 and Boeing 717 aircraft are based out of Atlanta, where they are mainly used for short-haul flights.[3] Its A320 aircraft, Boeing 737, and Boeing 757 aircraft are used for short-haul flights and medium-haul transcontinental flights. A few of its Boeing 757-200 aircraft are used on long and thin flights to Europe. Delta primarily uses its wide-body aircraft for long-haul flights to Europe, South America, and Asia, though some Boeing 767-300 (non-ER) aircraft operate domestic flights within the United States. Its A330s, Boeing 767-300ERs, and Boeing 767-400ERs mainly operate flights to Europe. Its Boeing 747-400s and Boeing 777-200s mainly operate flights to Asia.

Recent developments[edit]

From the merger with Northwest Airlines in 2008 until April 5, 2016, Delta added more than 200 aircraft to its fleet, including A321s, A330-300s, Boeing 717s, Boeing 737-900ERs, Boeing 757-200s, and McDonnell Douglas MD-90s. The majority of these aircraft were delivered between 2013 and 2016 at a pace of about five aircraft a month.[4]

In early 2011, Delta began to discuss replacement plans for the DC-9, older A320, and 757-200 aircraft with manufacturers Airbus, Boeing, and Bombardier.[5] On August 25, 2011, Delta ordered 100 Boeing 737-900ER aircraft for delivery between 2013 and 2018 as it retires older mainline jets and upgrades its fleet. The new aircraft are intended to improve the company's profitability.[6]

On May 22, 2012, Delta agreed to sublease 88 AirTran Boeing 717 aircraft from Southwest Airlines. These used aircraft were primarily intended to replace inefficient 50-seat regional jets flown by Delta Connection and some older DC-9s.[7] The Boeing 717s were scheduled to enter service over a three-year period: 16 in 2013, an additional 36 in 2014, and the remaining 36 in 2015.[8] Delta bought three additional 717s from Finnish airline Blue1 in 2015, bringing its total to 91 aircraft.[9]

Delta began refurbishing all domestic and two-class regional jets with Economy Comfort seats in 2012. All international aircraft already received Economy Comfort in 2011.[10]

On September 4, 2013, Delta ordered 10 Airbus A330-300s and 30 A321s to be delivered between 2015 and 2017. With this order Delta became the launch customer for the enhanced 242-ton maximum takeoff weight A330-300,[11] which is slightly more fuel-efficient and thus has greater payload capacity and range.[12] On June 2, 2014, Delta ordered an additional 15 A321 aircraft, bringing its A321 order total to 45 aircraft.[13]

Delta Air Lines officially retired its DC-9s from mainline service on January 6, 2014;[14] however, two DC-9s continued to be used on an as-needed basis until January 22 because of delayed Boeing 717 deliveries.[15]

On November 20, 2014, Delta ordered 50 Airbus wide-body jets to replace its aging Boeing 747-400s and 767-300ERs. 25 A350-900 aircraft will be delivered beginning in 2017 and will replace Delta's Boeing 747-400s on routes to Asia. 25 Airbus A330-900neo aircraft will be delivered beginning in 2019 and will replace 767-300ERs on routes to Europe and on certain routes between the West Coast and Asia.[16]

On June 10, 2015, Delta announced it would acquire 20 used Embraer 190s and order 40 new Boeing 737-900ERs upon pilot ratification of a tentative labor agreement.[17] However, on July 15, 2015, Delta cancelled the orders after pilots rejected the tentative contract proposal.[18] Then, on December 16, 2015, Delta re-announced the order for 20 used Embraer 190s and 20 new Boeing 737-900ERs, bringing its 737-900ER order total to 120 aircraft.[19]

On April 28, 2016, Delta announced an order for 75 Bombardier CS100s, options for 50 additional C Series aircraft and the ability to substitute to the larger CS300 aircraft. It was also announced that the 20 Embraer 190s would not join the fleet.[20] On April 29, 2016, Delta announced an order for 37 additional A321s, bringing its A321 order total to 82 aircraft.[21]

Current fleet[edit]

The following table represents Delta Air Lines mainline fleet types and layouts in service as of December 8, 2016.[22][23][24] Note that the total fleet size given below (839) differs from the total fleet size given on Delta's website (830). This is because this article is updated more often than Delta's website and because Delta does not consider the 11 757-200s currently operating as VIP charters to be part of its active fleet.[1]

Delta Air Lines Fleet
Aircraft In
Service
Orders Passengers Notes
F J E+ E Total
Airbus A319-100 57 12 0 18 96 126 Standardization at 132 seats.[25]
102 132
Airbus A320-200 69 12 0 18 120 150 Standardization at 157 seats in 2017.[26]
16 126 160
Airbus A321-200 15 67 20 0 29 143 192 Deliveries through 2019.[21]
Replacing McDonnell Douglas MD-88, Boeing 757-200 & 767-300.[27]
Airbus A330-200 11 0 34 32 168 234
Airbus A330-300 29 2 0 34 40 219 293 Deliveries through 2017.[11]
Airbus A330-900neo 25
TBA
Deliveries begin 2019. Replacing Boeing 767-300ER.[16]
Airbus A350-900 XWB 25 0 32 48 226 306 Deliveries begin fall 2017. Replacing Boeing 747-400.
To be delivered with Delta One Suites and Delta Premium.[28][29]
Boeing 717-200 91 12 0 20 78 110
Boeing 737-700 10 12 0 18 94 124
Boeing 737-800 73 4 16 0 18 126 160 4 used aircraft ordered from Gol.[30]
Boeing 737-900ER 68 52 20 0 21 139 180 Deliveries through 2019.[19]
Replacing older Boeing 757-200s and 767-300s.[31]
Boeing 747-400 7 0 48 42 286 376 To be retired by the end of 2017.[16]
To be replaced by Airbus A350-900.[32]
Boeing 757-200
Domestic
89 24 0 20 136 180 Older aircraft to be replaced by Boeing 737-900ER & Airbus A321-200.[27]
Standardization at 199 seats.[25]
11 aircraft operating as VIP charters.[33]
26 26 132 184
20 29 150 199
72 0 0 72
Boeing 757-200
International
23 0 16 44 108 168
20 0 21 128 169
Boeing 757-300 16 24 0 32 178 234
Boeing 767-300 6 30 0 28 203 261 To be replaced by Boeing 737-900ER and Airbus A321.[27]
Boeing 767-300ER 58 0 26 29 171 226 Older aircraft to be replaced by A330-900neo.[16]
36 143 208
32 211
Boeing 767-400ER 21 0 40 28 178 246
Boeing 777-200ER 8 0 37 36 218 291 To be retrofitted with Delta One Suites and Delta Premium beginning in 2018.[29]
Boeing 777-200LR 10
Boeing 787-8 18
TBA
Entry into service: 2020.[34][35]
Bombardier CS100 75
TBA
Deliveries begin spring 2018.
U.S. launch customer.
Replacing MD-88 and older CRJ aircraft.[20]
McDonnell Douglas MD-88 116 16 0 25 108 149 To be replaced by Airbus A321 and Bombardier CS100 starting summer 2017.[27]
McDonnell Douglas MD-90-30 65 16 0 25 119 160
Total 842 268

Fleet gallery[edit]

Special liveries[edit]

Registration Livery Aircraft Source Full/Partial
N381DN SkyTeam Boeing 737-800 [36] Full
N3755D SkyTeam Boeing 737-800 [37] Full
N3758Y SkyTeam Boeing 737-800 [38] Full
N3761R SkyTeam Boeing 737-800 [39] Full
N3765 SkyTeam Boeing 737-800 [40] Full
N809DN The Spirit of Seattle Boeing 737-900ER [41] Partial
N827DN C.E. Woolman Boeing 737-900ER [42] Partial
N659DL SkyTeam Boeing 757-200 [43] Full
N694DL The Spirit of Freedom Boeing 757-200 [44] Partial
N6716C Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery Boeing 757-200 [45] Partial
N705TW SkyTeam Boeing 757-200 [46] Full
N709TW Mariano Rivera Boeing 757-200 [47] Decal
N717TW SkyTeam Boeing 757-200 [48] Full
N722TW SkyTeam Boeing 757-200 [49] Full
N139DL United Way Boeing 767-300 [50] Partial
N16065 Andrew Young Boeing 767-300ER [51] Partial
N175DZ SkyTeam Boeing 767-300ER [52] Full
N841MH American Cancer Society Boeing 767-400ER [53] Partial
N844MH SkyTeam Boeing 767-400ER [54] Full
N845MH Breast Cancer Research Foundation Boeing 767-400ER [55] Partial
N701DN The Delta Spirit Boeing 777-200LR [56] Partial
N702DN The Spirit of Atlanta Boeing 777-200LR [57] Partial
N708DN David C. Garrett, Jr. Boeing 777-200LR [58] Partial

Fleet timeline[edit]

Historical Delta Air Lines fleet[edit]

Delta Air Lines had an all-Boeing (including McDonnell Douglas aircraft) fleet until its merger with Northwest Airlines.

Retired fleet[edit]

Delta Air Lines Retired Fleet
Aircraft Year Retired Replacement
Douglas DC-6 1968[60] Douglas DC-8, McDonnell Douglas DC-9
Douglas DC-7 1968[61] Douglas DC-8
Convair 340/440 1970[62] McDonnell Douglas DC-9
Convair CV-880 1973 Douglas DC-8-51
Douglas DC-8-51 1981[63] Boeing 757-200
Boeing 747-100 1977[64] Lockheed L-1011 TriStar
McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 1975/1988*[65] Lockheed L-1011 TriStar
Douglas DC-8-71 1989[63] Boeing 757-200
Douglas DC-9-14 1973[66] Launch Customer
Douglas DC-9-30 1993/2010***[66] Boeing 737-200 (1993) and CRJ-700/CRJ900/E-175 McDonnell Douglas MD-90 (2010)
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-40 2011 CRJ-700/CRJ900, E-175, McDonnell Douglas MD-90
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-50 2014 CRJ-700/CRJ900/E-175/Boeing 717-200/MD-90
Fairchild Hiller FH-227 1974[67] McDonnell Douglas DC-9
Airbus A310-200/300[68][69] 1993/1995** Boeing 767-300ER
Lockheed L-1011 TriStar 2001 Boeing 767-400ER
Boeing 727-100 1977[70] Boeing 727-200/McDonnell Douglas DC-9
Boeing 727-200 2003 Boeing 737-800/Boeing 757-200/MD-90
McDonnell Douglas MD-11 2004 Boeing 777-200ER (on Asian routes)
Boeing 767-400ER (on European routes)
Boeing 767-200 2006 Boeing 757-200
Boeing 767-300
Boeing 737-200 2006 Boeing 737-800
Boeing 737-300 2006 Boeing 737-700

*Delta operated the DC-10 twice, once on lease from United before the L-1011s could be delivered, and again when Delta acquired Western Airlines in 1987.

**Delta experimented with Airbus A310 aircraft for two to three years after acquiring the planes from Pan Am. Initially Delta was impressed enough with the aircraft to order more of the same model, but these were eventually withdrawn from service by the mid 1990s.

***Delta originally had DC-9-30s from 1967 to 1993. Delta sold some of their DC-9-30s back to McDonnell Douglas who sold them to ValuJet, forming ValuJet's initial fleet. ValuJet would eventually become Delta's main Atlanta-based rival, AirTran Airways. However, Delta inherited a fleet of -30s in 2008 when they had merged with Northwest Airlines. Two of these, N3322L and N3324L, had been delivered to Delta in 1967.

Delta Air Lines fleet prior to the jet era[edit]

Up until the late 1960s, Delta Air Lines operated a fleet of propeller operated aircraft, including among others, the Convair 340, Convair 440, Curtiss C-46 Commando, Douglas DC-3, Douglas DC-4, Douglas DC-6, Douglas DC-7, Lockheed Constellation, and Lockheed L-100 Hercules. The Curtiss C-46 Commando and Lockheed L-100 Hercules aircraft were operated as cargo aircraft.

Delta fleet in 1960[edit]

Delta Air Lines fleet in 1960[71]
Aircraft Total Orders Notes
Convair 440 28 0
Convair 880 0 10
Curtiss-Wright C-46 5 0 Freighter
Douglas DC-3 12 0 Includes 2 Freighters
Douglas DC-6 12 0
Douglas DC-7 10 0
Douglas DC-7B 11 0
Douglas DC-8 6 0
Total 84 10

Delta fleet in 1970[edit]

Delta Air Lines fleet in 1970[72]
Aircraft Total Orders Notes
Boeing 747-100 0 5
Douglas DC-8-61 13 0
Douglas DC-8-50 28 0
Douglas DC-9-15 15 0
Douglas DC-9-32 53 5
Convair CV-880 16 0
Lockheed L-100 Hercules 3 0 Freighter
Lockheed L-1011 TriStar 0 24
Total 128 34

Delta fleet in 1980[edit]

Delta Air Lines fleet in 1980[73]
Aircraft Total Orders Notes
Boeing 727-200 120 6
Boeing 767-200 0 20
Douglas DC-8-61 13 0
Douglas DC-9-32 41 0
Lockheed L-1011-1 29 6
Lockheed L-1011-500 2 1
Total 205 33

Delta fleet in 1990[edit]

Delta Air Lines fleet in 1990[74]
Aircraft Total Orders Notes
Boeing 727-200 130 0
Boeing 737-200 61 0
Boeing 737-300 13 0
Boeing 757-200 41 22
Boeing 767-200 15 0
Boeing 767-300 15 1
Boeing 767-300ER 0 9
Douglas DC-8-71 5 0
Douglas DC-9-32 36 0
Douglas DC-10-10 3 0
Lockheed L-1011-1 22 0
Lockheed L-1011-100 1 0
Lockheed L-1011-250 6 0
Lockheed L-1011-500 10 0
McDonnell Douglas MD-11 0 9
McDonnell Douglas MD-82 8 0
McDonnell Douglas MD-88 23 34
Total 389 75

Delta fleet in 2000[edit]

Delta Air Lines fleet in 2000[75]
Aircraft Total Orders Notes
Boeing 727-200 Adv 102 0
Boeing 737-200 Adv 54 0
Boeing 737-300 26 0
Boeing 737-800 27 105
Boeing 757-200 114 7
Boeing 767-200 15 0
Boeing 767-300 28 0
Boeing 767-300ER 58 1
Boeing 767-400ER 1 20
Boeing 777-200ER 1 20
Lockheed L-1011-1 25 0
Lockheed L-1011-200 1 0
Lockheed L-1011-250 6 0
Lockheed L-1011-500 15 0
McDonnell Douglas MD-11 15 0
McDonnell Douglas MD-88 120 0
McDonnell Douglas MD-90-30 16 0
Total 623 139

Delta Fleet in 2010[edit]

Delta Air Lines fleet in 2010
Aircraft Total Orders Notes
Airbus A319-100 57 5
Airbus A320-200 69 2
Airbus A330-200 11 0
Airbus A330-300 21 0
Boeing 737-700 10 0
Boeing 737-800 73 0
Boeing 747-400 16 0
Boeing 757-200 168 1 Order is for a used aircraft.
Boeing 757-300 16 0
Boeing 767-300 15 0
Boeing 767-300ER 58 0
Boeing 767-400ER 21 0
Boeing 777-200ER 8 0
Boeing 777-200LR 10 0
Boeing 787-8 0 18
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-40 5 0
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-50 34 0
McDonnell Douglas MD-88 117 0
McDonnell Douglas MD-90-30 19 23 Orders are for used aircraft.
Total 728 49

Current Delta fleet[edit]

Delta Air Lines fleet as of August 2016. Excludes aircraft that Delta owns or leases that are operated by regional carriers on their behalf under Delta Connection.[76]
Aircraft Owned Leased Total Orders Average Fleet Age Notes
Airbus A319-100 55 5 57 0 13.7
Airbus A320-200 58 11 69 0 20.6
Airbus A321-200 11 0 5 82 - Deliveries started May 2016
Airbus A330-200 11 0 11 0 10.5
Airbus A330-300 24 0 24 0 8.9
Airbus A330-900neo 0 0 0 25 - Deliveries start in 2019. To be deployed on medium-haul trans-Atlantic routes.
Airbus A350-900 XWB 0 0 0 25 - Deliveries start second quarter of 2017. To be deployed on U.S.-to-Asia-Pacific routes.
Boeing 717-200 0 91 91 0 15.0
Boeing 737-700 10 0 10 0 6.7
Boeing 737-800 73 0 73 0 14.7
Boeing 737-900ER 31 15 46 0 1.2
Boeing 747-400 4 5 9 0 22.3 To be replaced by Airbus A350-900.
Boeing 757-200 87 32 119 0 20.4
Boeing 757-300 16 0 16 0 12.6
Boeing 767-300 13 1 14 0 24.5
Boeing 767-300ER 54 4 58 0 19.5 To be replaced by Airbus A330-900neo
Boeing 767-400ER 21 0 21 0 14.6
Boeing 777-200ER 8 0 8 0 15.7
Boeing 777-200LR 10 0 10 0 6.5
Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner 0 0 0 18 - Previous Northwest Airlines order inherited by Delta and later deferred until 2020.[77]
Bombardier CS100 0 0 0 75 -
McDonnell Douglas MD-88 83 33 116 0 25.2 To be replaced by A321-200 and Bombardier CS100.
McDonnell Douglas MD-90-30 75 8 65 0 18.6
Total 615 191 806 214 17.1

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]