Long range boost: Delta orders 20 Airbus A350-1000 widebody aircraft

by James Wilkinson

Delta is set to add 20 new Airbus A350-1000 widebody aircraft as the carrier continues to refresh and streamline its fleet.

Delta currently operates 28 A350-900s and following the latest announcement, the carrier has an orderbook for 36 next-gen A350 aircraft, bringing the A350 fleet to over 60 by the end of the decade.

“The A350-1000 will be the largest, most capable aircraft in Delta’s fleet and is an important step forward for our international expansion,” said Delta’s Chief Executive Officer, Ed Bastian.

“The aircraft complements our fleet and offers an elevated customer experience, with more premium seats and best-in-class amenities, as well as expanded cargo capabilities.”

The aircraft will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines, a more powerful variant of the engine that operates on the A350-900.

The aircraft are over 20% more fuel efficient than retiring planes, supporting Delta’s long-term sustainability goals.

According to the carrier, the aircraft will primarily be operated in long-haul markets and international hubs in support of Delta’s international expansion, replacing retiring planes and fueling growth.

“Delta continues to grow its global footprint and is expecting to operate the largest international schedule in its history this year,” according to the carrier.

The new higher-gauge aircraft will feature world-class amenities, with about 15% more premium seats than retiring aircraft, including Delta One Suites, Delta Premium Select and Delta Comfort+ in addition to Main Cabin.

It will also offer more than 1,000 hours of free in-flight entertainment from Delta Studio; free, fast in-flight Wi-Fi; and premium food and beverage options.

With the commitments announced today, Delta has 284 narrowbody and 48 widebody aircraft on order for delivery in coming years.