Delta in talks with Airbus, Boeing to buy jets -Bloomberg

Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:53pm EST

Jan 23 (Reuters) - Delta Air Lines Inc is in talks with Airbus SAS and Boeing Co to buy $1 billion or more new jets, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Atlanta-based airline is looking at current versions of the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737, not the newest versions, likely meaning a deeper discount to retail prices than normal, the news agency quoted one person as saying. ()

The talks are for an order of twenty-four to thirty planes and deliveries would start in three to five years, it said.

Lindsay McDuff, a spokeswoman for Delta, told Reuters that the company does not comment on industry rumor and speculation.

The deal could have a book value of at least $1 billion, based on prices tracked by consultant Avitas of Chantilly, Virginia, Bloomberg said.

Delta, the No. 2 airline behind United Continental Holdings , is looking for a deal in which it could exchange some of its 50-seat regional jets for new planes from Boeing or Airbus, similar to a deal with Bombardier Inc made in December.

The sale of old aircraft is a part of a cost-cutting program at the company, which includes retiring smaller, less efficient planes from its fleet.

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