PARIS/SEATTLE March 20 Delta Air Lines Inc
is in talks to purchase small and wide-body jets from
Airbus and Boeing in deals potentially worth
about $6 billion at list prices, two people familiar with the
Potential orders involve about 20 each of the planemakers'
most popular families of jets - the Airbus A320 or Boeing 737 in
the medium-haul, narrow-body class and the Airbus A330 or Boeing
777 in the long-range, wide-body category, the people said.
None of the parties involved agreed to comment.
The sources confirmed a Bloomberg News report that Delta was
considering buying planes including 10 to 20 of the A330 or the
777 wide-body aircraft worth $4.3 billion.
Delta told an investor conference on March 4 that it needed
to evaluate its needs for wide-body jets, but played down the
possibility of a large order because of recent investments in
its relatively young fleet.
The airline said it saw "opportunities in the marketplace"
to add selectively to its wide-body fleet and would be talking,
for example, to Airbus. Airlines typically engage both major
planemakers in any discussion to seek the best prices.
Delta already operates all four of the aircraft types
involved in the talks at both ends of the spectrum, making it
possible for the planemakers to offer aircraft without having to
shoulder the heavy costs of helping the airline switch
The talks come on the heels of an exceptionally busy two
weeks for aircraft orders as airlines chase fuel savings while
trying to grow or replace their fleets. Industry body IATA
earlier edged up its forecast for airline profits this year.
On Tuesday, budget Irish airline Ryanair handed
Boeing its largest European order ever, a deal for 175 Boeing
737 jets worth $16 billion at list prices. The deal came a day
after Indonesia's Lion Air on Monday picked European rival
Airbus for a $24 billion order.
Lion Air had been an exclusively Boeing customer for jets.