Delta orders up to 70 Bombardier regional jets

MINNEAPOLIS — Delta Air Lines is ordering up to 70 regional jets from Canada’s 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.

———

Associated Press

More in Herald Business Journal

Everett engineers learn lessons from Mexico City catastrophe

Structural scientists went to help after the September earthquake there and studied the damage.

DaVita to sell off medical groups including The Everett Clinic

Another round of health care consolidation means The Everett Clinic could soon get new ownership.

Engine trouble hits Air New Zealand’s 787 Dreamliners

A Rolls-Royce engine was shut down and was afterward found to be seriously damaged.

Washington, Amazon sue company over seller training programs

Braintree is accused of using deceptive ads promising information on how to make money on Amazon.

The Marine Corps’ version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is designed to land vertically like a helicopter. (Lockheed Martin)
F-35 fighter costs, $1 trillion over 60 years, draw scrutiny

Pentagon’s ability to repair F-35 parts at military depots is six years behind schedule.

Incidents of severe disturbances on commercial flights climb

The number of cases in which the cabin crew had to restrain a passenger rose to 169 last year.

Funko mascots Freddy Funko roll past on a conveyor belt in the Pop! Factory of the company’s new flagship store on Aug. 18, 2017. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Funko starts to bounce back after disappointing stock debut

The Everett toys-and-collectibles maker also announced the acquisition of an animation studio.

Now hiring: Younger factory workers, at Boeing and elsewhere

The company and its training partners are fighting perceptions of a dying manufacturing industry.

‘The President Stole Your Land’: Patagonia, REI blast Trump

The outdoor recreation industry is allied with Indian tribes and conservationists.

Most Read