Thursday, November 20, 2014

Airbus wins Delta wide-body order

Airbus has won the hotly-contested competition for 50 wide-body airplanes, two sources tell Leeham News and Comment.

Artist rendering of Delta Air Lines A350, via Twitter, original source unknown.

Airbus will sell Delta 25 A350-900s and 25 A330-900s, our sources say. Rolls-Royce is the sole-source engine supplier.

YouReadDLBoeing hoped to sell Delta the 787-9 and also offered five new 777-200LRs as bridge lift until delivery slots for the 789 were available, according to our information.

Losing is a major disappointment for Boeing, not only because of the sheer number of wide-body airplanes involved but also because this is one of the Big Three US carriers; and there was the slim chance Delta might take Boeing up on the 777LR order, which would help fill the struggling production gap for the 777 Classic.

For Airbus, winning Delta is a major coup for many of the same reasons: the sheer size of the deal, Delta’s status and, while the A330neo order won’t help the A330ceo’s production gap, this gives a good boost to the neo program and adds a prestigious name to the customer list.

According to our information, Boeing couldn’t find early delivery slots for the 789–hence the offer of the 777LR–but Airbus was able to move the A350 skyline around enough to provide the airplane early.

The A359 is intended for the Pacific and the A339 for the Atlantic. Delta is building up a major international hub at Seattle, where some of these airplanes will fly from.

Airbus told LNC, “We do not comment on rumor or speculation concerning discussions with our customers.” Boeing declined comment.

Delta did not respond to a request for comment. Delta’s plan was to announce this at Investors’ Day on December 11.

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