Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines is one of the largest carriers in the world. With nine hub airports across the country, the airline uses its fleet of nearly 800 mainline aircraft to connect cities big and small at home and abroad. As it continues to make investments in new aircraft, it is also working on retrofitting older aircraft in its fleet.
The Delta mainline fleet
As of September 30th, 2021, Delta Air Lines reported it had the following planes in its fleet:
|Fleet Type||Current Fleet||Average Age (Years)|
Note that this list excludes the 11 Boeing 757-200s devoted specifically for charter usage. Those planes do not typically enter passenger service and fly missions outside of Delta’s regularly scheduled operations.
The 797-strong fleet has changed significantly over the last two years. Namely, Delta has retired its McDonnell Douglas aircraft, the MD-80 and MD-90, and its Boeing 777s. It also withdrew the Boeing 737-700s and retired a handful of other jets from the Boeing 717, 767, and Airbus A320 fleets.
Delta maintains a strong aircraft backlog of 283 planes as of September 30th, 2021:
- 21 Boeing 737-900ERs
- Four Airbus A220-100s
- 41 Airbus A220-300s
- Four Airbus A321-200s
- 26 Airbus A330-900neos
- 26 Airbus A350-900s
The Boeing 717 fleet
Delta’s fleet of Boeing 717s includes 54 aircraft in regular commercial service. The large majority of this fleet is leased. Previously, Delta operated up to over 90 717s, but it whittled the number down as part of its fleet simplification strategy and after introducing the Airbus A220 into the fleet.
The Boeing 717s seat 110 passengers. This is split across 12 recliner-style first class seats, 20 extra-legroom economy seats, and 78 standard economy seats. Notably, this is the only Delta mainline aircraft that does not feature on-demand seatback entertainment. Delta chose not to retrofit this fleet as it moves toward retiring the planes over the next few years.
The 717s typically fly short-haul missions around the East Coast. Data from Cirium shows that this December, the airline is planning to keep the 717s flying in the Eastern US, primarily out of Detroit and Atlanta, on routes under two hours in flying time.
The Boeing 737 fleet
Delta has two types of 737s in its fleet. This includes the 737-800 and the larger 737-900ER. The 737-900ER fleet is larger than the -800 fleet, and Delta is in the process of inducting some used 737-900ERs into its fleet as part of its rebuilding after mass retirements in 2020.
The 737-800s seat 160 passengers. These planes feature 16 recliner-style first class seats, 36 extra-legroom economy seats, and 108 standard economy seats. The 737-900ERs seat 180 passengers. This includes 20 recliner-style first class seats, 21 extra-legroom economy seats, and 139 standard economy seats. Both planes offer access to power in all cabin classes, as well as on-demand seatback entertainment.
These planes are domestic workhorses for Delta Air Lines. They can be found flying to destinations across the United States – including as far away as Alaska this December, according to data from Cirium. Delta has also scheduled the 737s as part of its expansion of service to Panama.
The Boeing 757
Delta Air Lines loves its 757s. The aircraft is flexible and can do everything from long-haul international to short-haul hops on high-demand routes, such as between Atlanta and Orlando. Delta flies both the 757-200 and the 757-300, though its 757-200 fleet far outnumbers that of the 757-300.
The 757-200s come in a few different configurations. Two of the most popular are standard domestic configurations. One has room for 199 passengers split across 20 recliner-style first class seats, 29 extra-legroom economy seats, and 150 standard economy seats. The second has room for 193 passengers with room for 20 in recliner-style first class, 41 extra-legroom economy seats, and 132 standard economy seats.
There is a special sub-fleet of 757-200s at Delta. This premium configuration features room for just 168 passengers. There are 16 lie-flat Delta One seats at the front of the cabin. This is followed by 44 extra-legroom economy seats and 108 standard economy seats. There is also a fleet of 757s flying charter missions that are excluded from passenger service.
Finally, the 757-300s feature a whopping 234 passengers. Passengers can select from 24 first class seats, 32 extra-legroom economy seats, and 178 standard economy seats. All 757s feature access to power as well as on-demand seatback entertainment.
There are plenty of routes across the United States and near-field international destinations where the 757 flies to. Some of the destinations further out, per Cirium, include Alaska, Hawaii, and Ecuador.
The Boeing 767
Delta flies both the 767-300ER and the 767-400ER. Delta has set out plans to retire the 767-300ER within the next few years, but it plans to hang onto the 767-400ERs for a while longer. As such, it views its -300ER fleet as flexible when it comes to flexing capacity up or down.
Most passengers flying a 767 abroad next year will find themselves on one of Delta’s planes that have been retrofitted – whether it is the -300ER or -400ER. Passengers on retrofitted 767-300ERs will find room for 26 up front in lie-flat, forward-facing, staggered Delta One business class. Behind this are 18 premium economy seats, which are similar to recliner-style first class. Finally, there are 21 extra-legroom economy seats and 151 standard economy seats for a total of 216 passengers.
Its fleet of existing 767-300ERs comes in two different layouts. One seats 211 passengers with room for 36 in Delta One, with the same seating configuration as the retrofitted -300ERs. There are then 32 extra-legroom economy seats and 143 standard economy seats. The final 767-300ER configuration is more commonly found and has room for 226 passengers, including 26 in Delta One, 25 in extra-legroom economy, and 165 in standard economy.
The 767-400ER fleet has been entirely retrofitted to include Delta’s new premium economy product. These planes feature room for 34 customers in an upgraded Delta One seat product, 20 in premium economy, 28 in extra-legroom economy, and 156 in standard economy. All Boeing 767s feature access to power and on-demand seatback entertainment.
The 767s are workhorses in the international market, flying to Madrid, Barcelona, London, Accra, and more abroad. At home, the 767s are used to add capacity on high-demand domestic routes and can be commonly found on transcontinental routes, such as between Los Angeles and New York.
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The Airbus A220
Delta Air Lines was the first US-based airline to fly the A220, formerly known as the Bombardier CSeries, when Delta ordered the product. Delta flies both the A220-100 and the A220-300.
The smaller A220-100 seats 109 passengers. This includes 12 in recliner-style first class, 15 in extra-legroom economy, and 82 in standard economy. The larger A220-300 seats 130 passengers with room for 12 in recliner-style first class, 30 in extra-legroom economy, and 88 standard economy seats.
The Airbus A220 is quickly becoming a popular aircraft on some of Delta’s more competitive routes to its competitors’ hubs, in addition to serving some thinner routes. For example, passengers can find the aircraft flying to cities in Texas like Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. It is also a common sight in other hubs like Seattle and Detroit. Over the coming months, Delta is also boosting the A220s presence in New York and Boston.
The Airbus A320 family
Delta flies a large fleet of A320ceo aircraft. The single largest A320 family fleet Delta flies is that of the A321-200, of which Delta has over 120 examples. In 2022, it is planning on taking its first Airbus A321neo, which will debut in Boston.
The Airbus A319s are configured with capacity for 132 passengers. This is split between 12 recliner-style first class seats, 18 extra-legroom economy seats, and 102 standard economy seats. The A320s, meanwhile, have room for 157 passengers. This includes 16 recliner-style first class seats, 18 extra-legroom economy seats, and 123 standard economy seats.
The Airbus A321s feature room for 191 passengers. This includes 20 in recliner-style first class, 29 in extra-legroom economy, and 142 in standard economy. Just like every other fleet save for the 717s, Delta’s A320ceo family aircraft feature on-demand seatback entertainment and power.
Like the Boeing 737 fleet, these planes are domestic and short-haul international workhorses. There are few cities seeing mainline service where a member of the Airbus A320 family fleet is not scheduled to fly.
The Airbus A330
Delta first inherited its Airbus A330 fleet from Northwest Airlines before ordering more A330s for its long-haul needs. This includes the A330neo fleet, which Delta was an initial customer for.
Delta’s A330ceo fleet is in the middle of a retrofit to feature the carrier’s premium economy product. The unretrofitted A330-200s are outfitted with 234 seats. At the front, there are 34 reverse herringbone, lie-flat Delta One seats. Following this are 32 extra-legroom economy seats and 168 standard economy seats.
The retrofitted A330-200s seat slightly fewer passengers, with room for 223 onboard. The Delta One cabin stays in the same size and layout. However, following this are 21 new premium economy seats, 24 extra-legroom economy seats, and 144 standard economy seats.
As for the A330-300s, the unretrofitted planes have 293 seats onboard. This includes 34 reverse herringbone, lie-flat Delta One seats. Following this are 40 extra-legroom economy seats and 219 standard economy seats.
Meanwhile, the retrofitted Airbus A330-300s have room for 282 passengers. The Delta One cabin maintains its 34 reverse herringbone seats, followed by 21 premium economy seats, 24 extra-legroom economy seats, and 203 standard economy seats.
Lastly, the A330-900neos come in one configuration featuring room for 281 passengers. These jets include the swanky Delta One Suite product, with 29 lie-flat pods in business class. Then, there are 28 premium economy seats, 56 extra-legroom economy seats, and 168 standard economy seats on these planes. All Airbus A330s feature on-demand seatback entertainment and power in all cabins.
The A330 family spends most of its time flying on long-haul international routes. This includes destinations abroad like Lagos and Dakar in Africa or Amsterdam and Paris in Europe. In Asia, Delta is currently sending A330s to Seoul and Tokyo.
The Airbus A350
The airline’s largest plane by seat capacity is the A350-900. These jets are the crown jewel of Delta’s fleet. The airline also recently announced the acquisition of used Airbus A350s to support its widebody fleet growth.
The A350-900s seat 360 passengers, though there is a catch. Delta advertises two A350-900 configurations. One includes 32 Delta One Suites, 48 premium economy seats, 36 extra-legroom economy seats, and 190 economy seats. The other configuration has 32 Delta One Suites, 48 premium economy seats, and 226 economy seats.
These planes fly Delta’s most prestigious long-haul routes. Delta has scheduled the A350s to fly to Sydney, Australia, and Johannesburg, South Africa, for example. It can also be found on routes from Atlanta and Detroit to Asia and partner hubs in Europe like Amsterdam and Paris.