Delta Takes Over $3B Airbus A350 Order From LATAM

Last month, LATAM Airlines Group had significantly cut the number of orders for its Airbus A350 XWB aircraft. However, Delta Air Lines has now snapped up the 10 units that were supposed to be delivered to the South American carrier.

Delta A350
Delta is adding more widebody aircraft to its fleet. Photo: Airbus

Change of destination

Reuters reports that the order is worth around $3 billion at list prices. Last week, Airbus announced the cancellation of ten A350 planes in March. The manufacturer also announced a simultaneous order for 10 of the type from an undisclosed airline.

Even though these planes are not heading towards LATAM, they are still going to be deployed by a close ally. The firm has confirmed that the delivery is being transferred to its partner. It said that the move is part of the alliance that the two took on during the fall of 2019.

LATAM said the below, as reported by Reuters.

“Delta has now assumed the fleet commitments for 10 A350 aircraft, as part of the framework agreement announced in September last year,”

Delta A350 Aircraft
Delta already operates A350 jets on several international routes. Photo: Airbus

Long-haul powerhouse

LATAM had its A350 orders split between 17 -900s and eight of the larger -1000s. By the time April came around, there was a total of 13 orders for the -900 and just two for the -1000.

Therefore, it looks like Delta will receive four -900s and six -1000s. It already holds 13 of the long-haul aircraft in its fleet, with all of them being of the -900 variant. By adding two of the larger editions to its holdings, the airline is showing its intentions to expand on international operations once passenger demand picks up again.

The plane’s wide aisles and high ceiling offer plenty of space for passengers to travel in on long trips. Additionally, the -900’s Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-84 engines help the aircraft reach a range of up to 16,100 km (8,700 nm). Airbus uses an even more powerful Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 for the -1000.

Delta air lines, runway, storage, aircraft,
With much of its fleet on the ground, Delta will be eager to get its planes in the air again. Photo: Getty Images

For the future

While Delta absorbs these widebodies, the airline, along with other US-based operators are in important talks with the government regarding aid. Most of its fleet is currently grounded amid the global flight restrictions causing severe passenger downturn. Therefore, the Atlanta outfit is seeking support to help cover costs.

With this in mind, Delta has agreed to sell and lease back aircraft valued at $1 billion to raise further cash. Ultimately, the carrier will have to wait until the aviation climate changes before it can fully deploy most of its widebody aircraft again.

Simple Flying reached out to Delta for comment on the 10 Airbus A350 jets orders but did not hear back before publication. We will update the article with any further announcements.

What are your thoughts on Delta taking over LATAM’s orders? Have you had any great experiences on the aircraft type? Let us know what you think in the comment section.