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.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. 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.