Delta Sells 6 Airbus A321s For Leaseback

This week, Delta Air Lines reached an agreement with Altavair, a commercial aviation finance specialist, to sell six Airbus A321-200s. However, the Atlanta-based carrier will take these narrowbodies straight back on lease.

Delta Air Lines A321
Delta now owns less of its Airbus A321 aircraft but it will continue to hold the same amount in its fleet. Photo: Airbus

A strong relationship

The global health crisis has forced airlines to find ways to raise funds amid the downturn in passenger activity. Therefore, this deal will help Delta acquire some much-needed cash while still operating the jets.

According to a press release, Altavair CEO Steve Rimmer shared that he is glad that his company can continue to work alongside Delta on aircraft projects. He added that the deal was done swiftly, thanks to the history that the two firms have together.

“We are pleased to again have the opportunity to transact with Delta, especially during this period of economic uncertainty. Due to our longstanding relationship with Delta, we were able to document and close on this transaction in very short order,” Rimmer said, as per the press release.

“As always, we very much appreciate the trust that Delta places in us to deliver on strategically important projects which are both time sensitive and economically important to their business needs.”

Delta Air Lines
Most of Delta’s aircraft remain on the ground due to travel restrictions. Photo: Getty Images

Important assets

There are 40 other A321-200s that Delta operates that are owned by Altavair. Of the 100 units that the airline currently holds, it wholly-owns only 54 of them. Nonetheless, this type leads when it comes to the amount of Airbus jets in its fleet.

The deal was made with funding support by KKR, a leading global investment firm. Dan Pietrzak and Brandon Freiman, partners at KKR, spoke of their excitement of the agreement. The two businessmen are looking forward to supporting Delta as the airline continues to play a critical role in the global aviation industry.

Delta Air Lines A321 Interior
Delta is looking to save money while flight activity remains low in the current aviation climate. Photo: Getty Images

A clever bit of business

Altogether, this deal will help Delta raise cash while keeping aircraft that it will eventually need in its fleet. The restrictions and low passenger activity have meant that there is less need for aircraft right now. However, as demand will slowly return, the carrier will need the right resources at hand.

With a long-lasting relationship with Altavair, Delta can be confident that a prudent decision has been made. The operator will be eager for business to pick up again so that it can deploy as many planes as possible.

Simple Flying reached out to Delta for comment on its situation with the A321-200 aircraft but did not hear back before publication. We will update the article with any further announcements.

What are your thoughts on Delta’s agreement with Altavair? Is this is a good move for the two companies? Let us know what you think of the deal in the comment section.