Aviation News

April 28, 2016

Bombardier Lands First US C-Series Customer with Delta Order

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By: Stephanie Gehman
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Bombardier has been diligently working to secure a United States customer for its C-series aircraft, and that effort has paid off.  Delta Air Lines has committed to purchasing 75 aircraft to add to its fleet from the manufacturer, along with the option for an additional 50.  The order is comprised of 75 narrowbody CS100s and the optional 50 are potentially earmarked to be larger models.

The CS100s are intended to upgrade the narrowbody inventory not only for Delta customer satisfaction but also “…allowing [Delta] to take advantage of superior operating economics, network flexibility and best-in-class fuel performance,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s incoming chief executive officer, in a corporate press release published this morning.

Delta customers will experience an upgrade in aircraft performance when these planes commence flying in 2018.  Per Delta’s press release, “the CS100 features a state-of-the-art interior with the largest windows in the single-aisle market, full-spectrum ambient lighting, seatback in-flight entertainment, in-flight wifi, high-capacity overhead bins and among the widest seats of any narrowbody aircraft in a customer-preferred two-by-three Main Cabin and Delta Comfort+ configuration, as well as a two-by-two First Class layout.”

The improvements do not end with simply the customer’s experience, as an arm of Delta’s corporate mission and vision seeks to improve and reduce its carbon footprint with the CS100s as well.  The fleet improvements will see great leaps towards this goal. “The CS100 takes advantage of advanced technology and composite materials designed to deliver an expected 20 percent improvement in fuel efficiency over similar sized aircraft when it enters service with Delta in spring 2018. The reduced noise and emissions of the C-series aligns with Delta’s broader goal to reduce the airline’s environmental footprint.”

The long-term financial impact for Delta is a beneficial capstone.  The C-series deal with Bombardier is expected to facilitate its desired 15 percent earnings per share growth, along with freeing $4-5 billion in annual cash flow.  Ultimately, the airline expects to replace 20 percent of its fleet in the coming half-decade.  To date, Delta Air Lines has retired more than 400 of its regional and narrowbody inventory of aircraft, and refreshed the fleet with 300 new planes since 2009.