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Embraer E190s Coming To Delta Air Lines

It looks like a new aircraft type is coming to Delta Air Lines! As part of a deal with the airline's 12,000 pilots, Delta announced today that they will be acquiring 20 Embraer E190 jets as well as 40 additional Boeing 737-900ERs. The 40 737s, in addition to the 60 Delta already has on order, will be brand new out of the factory. However, the E190s will be pre-owned aircraft that are currently in operation with another airline. As it turns out, they will still come from the Boeing Corporation. Why is Boeing selling used Embraer aircraft? It turns out that Boeing actually accepts used aircraft of all types, Embraer included, as partial payment for orders of new Boeing aircraft. This allows airlines to refresh their fleets without suffering from too large an increase in capacity. Rumors are swirling that Delta's E190s will be ex-Air Canada aircraft.
JetBlue E190 landing at New York-JFK while the airport fire department trains (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

JetBlue E190 landing at New York-JFK while the airport fire department trains (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

With 98 seats, the E190 has always been kind of an awkward size in that it is too small to be a true "mainline" aircraft but too large to be a "regional jet". Nevertheless, Delta will consider the type to be "mainline" and all 20 aircraft will be flown by Delta Air Lines pilots and not a regional subsidiary. Delta's slightly smaller E170s and E175s are operated by regional airlines like Compass, Shuttle America and Republic Airways.
Embraer E175 operated by Delta Connection carrier Compass Airlines (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

Embraer E175 operated by Delta Connection carrier Compass Airlines (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

It will be interesting to see which routes Delta operates these aircraft on. I can see the airline taking over the "Delta Shuttle" services between New York-LaGuardia and Boston, Washington-Reagan and Chicago as well as between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Currently these routes are flown by regional carriers using E170s and E175s. After Delta takes delivery of the E190s in the fourth quarter of 2016, the airline will operate an astounding 13 different types of aircraft: The A319, A320, A321, A330, B717, B737, B747, B757, B767, B777, MD-88, MD-90 and E190. The airline will also take delivery of the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 in 2019 and 2020, respectively. A complex fleet like this can be expensive to maintain but allows for amazing flexibility in matching aircraft to different routes based on demand. Stay tuned for updates.  


  1. Chad G Chad G
    June 11, 2015    

    I find it highly unlikely that the E190s would be coming from JetBlue because according to the Delta press release (http://news.delta.com/2015-06-10-Delta-to-acquire-20-Embraer-E190s-and-40-new-737-900ERs-upon-pilot-ratification-of-tentative-agreement), “Delta will acquire 20 Boeing-held Embraer E190 aircraft previously operated by another carrier.” The E190s are currently owned by Boeing and JetBlue does not operate any Boeing aircraft, thus it is not like that Boeing would own any E190s previously operated by JetBlue.

    • Kyle Dunst Kyle Dunst
      June 11, 2015    

      Good point! I didn’t realize that Boeing was in the business of selling used Embraer aircraft. The article has been updated.


  2. JetBlue Pilot JetBlue Pilot
    June 11, 2015    

    JetBlue is pretty happy with the current fleet of E190s. Shrinking the fleet at this point would force a reduction in service, and that’s definitely not what the company is looking for at this point in cities like DCA, which have a heavy E190 presence. I anticipate they will keep the E190 fleet at 60, and when deliveries start back up in 2018 the fleet will remain the same size as the older aircraft are retired.

    The speculation I’ve heard is that the E190s will be coming from a Canadian airline, FYI.

  3. PVDFlyer PVDFlyer
    June 11, 2015    

    I am only speculating, but the number of 20 E-190s seems as if they would be coming from AA/US Airways. It was rumored that the E-190 was sort of an awkward aircraft for AA and did not necessarily fit their model. They haven’t come out in any way and said that they would be dumping them, but they do have 20 of them. It may just be a coincidence, and this is just a thought.

  4. June 13, 2015    

    The E190s will be coming from Air Canada. They currently have 45 of the type, 20 of which will be going to Boeing as part of a deal for new 737NG aircraft. Delta is also looking at future options for expanding the E190 fleet if they are successful (as the 717 has been), and that may mean buying out the rest of Air Canada’s fleet, buying FlyBe’s fleet, or taking over JetBlue’s deferred deliveries direct from Embraer.

  5. Gato Gato
    June 20, 2015    

    Delta doesn’t have any 787s on order.

    • Kyle Dunst Kyle Dunst
      June 20, 2015    

      Delta has orders for 18 787s, with deliveries beginning in 2020.

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About Kyle

I am a recent college graduate with a degree in Aviation Management. I spend my time as an airline industry professional, private pilot, blogger and world traveler. I have visited 36 countries to date and don't plan on slowing down. This blog is my way of sharing the latest developments in the airline industry as well as experiences from my world travels. All views and opinions are strictly my own.

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