Delta A350s Get New Premium Configuration

Delta A350s Get New Premium Configuration

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Delta Air Lines will be introducing a new, more premium layout on some of its upcoming Airbus A350s, and there may be an ulterior motive…

Delta plans A350s with more business class seats

As flagged by @TheAviationBeat, Delta has updated its seat maps to reflect a new type of configuration for its Airbus A350-900s. Delta currently has 28 A350s in its fleet, with an additional 16 of these jets on order. Currently, Delta has its standard A350 layout, plus it has a special, less premium layout on some aircraft that were acquired from LATAM.

With some of Delta’s upcoming A350 deliveries, the airline seems to be planning a more premium layout. Initially, these aircraft show as operating the following two routes:

  • Atlanta (ATL) to Johannesburg (JNB) as of June 1, 2024
  • Atlanta (ATL) to Cape Town (CPT) as of August 1, 2024

So, what exactly is changing? The jet’s overall capacity is decreasing by 31 seats, from 306 seats to 275 seats. with the breakdown of seats changing as follows:

  • Delta One (business class) is going from 32 seats to 40 seats, as it gains two additional rows of seats behind the second set of doors
  • Delta Premium Select (premium economy) is going from 48 seats to 40 seats, as it loses one row of seats
  • Delta Comfort+ (extra legroom economy) is maintaining 36 seats
  • Delta Main Cabin (economy class) is going from 190 seats to 159 seats, as a few rows of seats are being eliminated
Delta’s current Airbus A350 layout

So as you can tell, Delta is swapping eight premium economy seats for eight business class seats, and in the process is losing 31 economy seats.

Delta’s A350 business class is getting bigger

What’s the motive for this configuration change?

While Delta is generally able to command a revenue premium among US airlines, the airline is conservative about the size of its premium cabins, especially on long haul flights. For example, the A350 is Delta’s flagship aircraft, and the airline currently just has 32 business class seats on those planes.

Meanwhile United’s 777-300ERs have 60 business class seats and United’s 787-9s have 48 business class seats. So it’s interesting to see the different strategies the two airlines take. I’m not sure if Delta just isn’t able to sell as many business class seats as United, or if Delta believes it can command the highest fares with these smaller premium cabins.

So, is Delta increasing the size of its A350 business class cabin a general trend shift, or is there more to it? I think it’s pretty telling on which routes this new configuration is launching. Delta’s Atlanta to South Africa routes are the carrier’s two longest flights, and the airline often has serious weight restrictions on the westbound flights, especially when departing Johannesburg (which is at a high altitude, and therefore has reduced takeoff performance).

So I’m curious if this is part of a bigger play on Delta’s part to add more business class seats, or if Delta is just strategically introducing a more premium configuration with fewer total seats, so that the airline doesn’t have to deal with weight restrictions departing Johannesburg, allowing the airline to carry more cargo.

Some Delta A350s are getting a new configuration

Bottom line

Delta is introducing a new Airbus A350 configuration in 2024. This will feature eight extra business class seats, eight fewer premium economy seats, and 31 fewer premium economy seats. This configuration will be debuting on Delta’s longest routes that are weight restricted, so I imagine reducing the overall weight of the aircraft while adding more premium capacity is the primary goal here.

What I’m curious about is if this configuration spreads to other routes, given Delta’s small business class cabins on its flagship aircraft, or if this will only stay on these two routes.

What do you make of Delta’s new premium A350 configuration?

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  1. Tim Dunn Diamond

    btw, Ben, I know everyone wants to claim they have the breaking news but Aeroroutes shows, via a timestamp, that they picked up the new Delta A350 inventory on Dec 15, more than 24 hours before your source.
    The seat map in your source appears to have come from delta.com so they had to wait until schedules were loaded on Saturday. Most US carrier schedule changes are sent out for distribution on Friday and...

    btw, Ben, I know everyone wants to claim they have the breaking news but Aeroroutes shows, via a timestamp, that they picked up the new Delta A350 inventory on Dec 15, more than 24 hours before your source.
    The seat map in your source appears to have come from delta.com so they had to wait until schedules were loaded on Saturday. Most US carrier schedule changes are sent out for distribution on Friday and loaded into res systems on Saturday.
    Just to note that the good folks at aeroroutes picked this up first even w/o the seat map which anyone could have found on delta.com once the schedules were loaded.

  2. DesertGhost Guest

    I may have misheard this, but I remember a number of top airline executives mention that more and more people have been inclined to pay for premium accommodations. And that's part of why there's been a push to add more premium seating. Apparently, those airlines believe this is a long term trend or else they wouldn't be installing lower density configurations.

    1. yoloswag420 Guest

      They've certainly made economy and premium economy so bad that everyone is willing to shill out the $$$ for business class.

    2. Joost Guest

      If you Google for Delta investor day you find a presentation telling many details about it, it's very interesting IMO

  3. Tim Dunn Diamond

    Since we're talking about Delta fleet, let's note a few other tidbits - whether some people come unglued about them or not.
    - Delta now has more mainline aircraft in its fleet than either American or United and will likely be the first US airline next year to reach a fleet of 1000 mainline aircraft
    - With its A330NEO and A350 deliveries for 2024, Delta will surpass 100 Airbus widebodies, overtaking Emirates in...

    Since we're talking about Delta fleet, let's note a few other tidbits - whether some people come unglued about them or not.
    - Delta now has more mainline aircraft in its fleet than either American or United and will likely be the first US airline next year to reach a fleet of 1000 mainline aircraft
    - With its A330NEO and A350 deliveries for 2024, Delta will surpass 100 Airbus widebodies, overtaking Emirates in the number of Airbus widebodies. If DL replaces its 767 fleet with A330NEOs and tacks on some more A350 orders, Delta should become and stay the largest Airbus widebody operator in the world.

    1. FlyerDon Guest

      To be fair Tim, Delta is keeping a lot of their older narrow bodies around to provide spare parts for the ones they can keep in the air. I’m talking about the B717s, A320s, B757s and the B767s, you know, the backbone of Delta’s domestic operations. As these planes get older and older it becomes harder and harder to find spare parts so Delta will need to salvage more parts from the oldest ones to keep the other ones flying. It’s really kinda sad.

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Don,
      the only real plane that Delta is buying older planes in order to keep a fleet in service is the 717.
      All of the older aircraft are well-supported.
      DL just learned the lesson about orphan fleets w/ the MD90 which it could not economically retain because of the lack of parts and "green" engines. They have bought enough 717s to keep the original fleet in service at least until 2030.

      As...

      Don,
      the only real plane that Delta is buying older planes in order to keep a fleet in service is the 717.
      All of the older aircraft are well-supported.
      DL just learned the lesson about orphan fleets w/ the MD90 which it could not economically retain because of the lack of parts and "green" engines. They have bought enough 717s to keep the original fleet in service at least until 2030.

      As for fleet age, United still has a fleet that is 2 plus years older than Delta's so there are clearly some older UA fleets.

      Delta has added hundreds of new A321s and 737-900ERs over the past decade and they will add several hundred more A321s and MAX10s in the next 5 years

      Unlike AA which bought aggressively and got in debt and now has to slow fleet spending to fix its balance sheet or UA which did not spend much for years and is now buying airplanes like it is going out of style and risks the same balance sheet issues as AA, DL has been pretty middle of the road. DL's widebody fleet spending has been relatively slower compared to its domestic narrowbody fleet purchases but that will pick up in the next 5 years.

    3. M Kadow Guest

      The A350 is weight restricted out of JNB most if time requiring empty seats. That equates to loss of revenue and angry passengers. With the reduced configuration they should be able to fill the plane up. United is also in the same boat with the 777 and 787 they face weight restrictions also.

    4. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      That equates to loss of revenue and angry passengers.

      LOL.

      There's no commercial aircraft past, present, or even publicly on the drawing board, that can go out of 5500ft elevation for a 16hr+ journey, without taking a payload hit.

      Heck, the A350 is one of the very few aircraft that can do it at ANY viable payload.

    5. Tim Dunn Diamond

      absolutely. I'm not sure how many people appreciate how operationally challenging Delta's JNB-ATL flight is to pull off.
      Remember that the 777-200LR was the only plane prior to the A350 that could do and the LR sold very poorly.
      The latest A350s for DL may not be as heavily powered aircraft compared to the 777LR but their full efficiency and outstanding aerodynamics will allow the A350 - both versions - to do much...

      absolutely. I'm not sure how many people appreciate how operationally challenging Delta's JNB-ATL flight is to pull off.
      Remember that the 777-200LR was the only plane prior to the A350 that could do and the LR sold very poorly.
      The latest A350s for DL may not be as heavily powered aircraft compared to the 777LR but their full efficiency and outstanding aerodynamics will allow the A350 - both versions - to do much more for more passengers than any other Airbus aircraft and challenge whatever Boeing builds.

    6. FlyerDon Guest

      Why did DL211 JNB-ATL need to land in MIA the other morning? Running low on fuel?

  4. C Dundon Guest

    We over-paid for a Premium seats Atlanta to Paris & Paris to Salt Lake in October. When the seat reclined in front of us, we had to climb over fixed arm rests to use the restroom. We were told our luggage would be one of the first off the carousel and it came off as the very last, leaving us in the back of the line for immigration and meeting connecting flights. NOT worth the large upcharge.

  5. FlyingDutchman Guest

    They should really upgrade the LATAM inherited A350s before doing anything else. This business class seats are anything but premium in 2023

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      The first ex Latam aircraft go in for new cabins in 2024

    2. DARREL BENNER Guest

      My TA just booked me on a Delta A350-900 in Business Class from ATL to SCL in April and I was disappointed to find out the aircraft is a former LATAM A350 with the Old seating design.
      The Suite style seating looks So Much better.

  6. Billy Bob Guest

    Only 600,000 skypesos one-way too! Great.

  7. k1 Guest

    I wonder if there are any plans to introduce new business seats.

  8. Mark Guest

    This is a lot of work just to add 2 rows of business class. There’s no way they did this to add a “premium” configuration and instead a necessity to lighten the aircraft for certain missions (like JNB). Sort of smells like airbus couldn’t deliver the promised range with the future deliveries.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      That's a rather speculative (not to mention nonfactual) conclusion.

  9. Tim Dunn Diamond

    it is flattering that some people know the facts before I write them.
    You need only watch the inventory on AA, DL and UA longhaul flights to know that DL doesn't upgrade passengers on its longhaul international flights to near the extent that AA and UA do which is why they have long had fewer business class seats and can get higher average fares.
    As for the capabilities of these new aircraft, yes,...

    it is flattering that some people know the facts before I write them.
    You need only watch the inventory on AA, DL and UA longhaul flights to know that DL doesn't upgrade passengers on its longhaul international flights to near the extent that AA and UA do which is why they have long had fewer business class seats and can get higher average fares.
    As for the capabilities of these new aircraft, yes, they will be fully capable of 283 tonne performance and I don't see any reason why Delta wouldn't take advantage of that. DL's current two newest aircraft - N518DZ and N519DN - have partial Airbus New Production Standard components - some lighter weight structures - but not the full NPS package which includes moving the rear pressure backhead back a frame, allowing a much deeper rear galley and two lavs next to the galley in the rear, a 4 inch wider cabin, rearranging the forward galley, and changes to the landing gear system to enhance takeoff performance. DL has been consistently rotating its two newest A350s between ATL-JNB/CPT, LAX-SYD, and today one is flying DTW-PVG; those flights consistently hit 16+ hours in the winter and JNB-ATL has been hitting 17.5 hours. It is certain that they are seeing payload restrictions just as AA and UA are seeing on their DEL-NYC flights which have exceed 18 hours recently.
    DL has said they are using their A350-900 deliveries for 2024 to reduce if not eliminate payload restrictions; JNB-ATL might still see some in the S. African summer but that would probably the only route. 17 hours out of an airport at 5500 feet of elevation is incredible and the 777-200LR couldn't even do it consistently.
    DL is using half of its A350s like it used its 10 777LRs and yet it did not have the specific aircraft w/ the capabilities the 777LR had - but that will change in 2024 - all while burning 20-25% less fuel.
    by the winter of 2024 and beyond, DL will be in a position to add ultra long haul flying and India and more routes in Asia are very much possible.
    The A350-900 is a very capable aircraft and yet the -1000 is even more capable and has greater range with more passengers. DL's new cabin configuration just argues for why they need the A350-1000.
    The real question, as Ben alludes to, is how many of DL's existing A350-900s as well as how many of the ex-Latam aircraft will be reconfigured into this new 275 seat setup. They have 8 280 tonne A350-900s but all 300 plus seats. The majority of the DL A350 fleet including most of the ex-Latam fleet are less than 280 tonne aircraft so are only good for 14 hour flights; it will be interesting to see if they keep those aircraft in a more dense configuration and use them on "shorter" routes. DL has also said that all widebody flights from LAX will be on the A350 which does not have an A330 pilot base so the "lighter" A350s could work well to HND, CDG and AKL as well as MSP to Asia and growth from SLC.
    Getting the right A350s in the right places is the final piece of DL's transpacific transformation.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      So why are you here? This is about aviation

    2. yoloswag420 Guest

      Honestly Tim, you're not even that wrong, but you could be more succinct.

      United has been releasing tons of J space as award and upgrade inventory about a month out for almost all of its TPAC flights like KIX and Oz. I frequently find anywhere between 3 to 10 seats available per flight. United might seem strong out of their SFO hub, but at $10k for a Polaris RT to Oz, they're definitely not selling as many revenue tickets as one would think.

    3. Tim Dunn Diamond

      I provide the level of detail I do because some people find it helpful. Others are free to skip over it.
      The US government says that local travel between Japan and the US (not connections) is down more than 20% so anyone that tells you otherwise isn't telling the truth.

    4. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      fleet are less than 280 tonne aircraft so are only good for 14 hour flights; it will be interesting to see if they keep those aircraft in a more dense configuration and use them on "shorter" routes.

      That's a configuration issue, not performance. SQ launched SIN-SFO-SIN with 275T aircraft. They're easily capable of going beyond 14hrs.

      all widebody flights from LAX will be on the A350 which does not have an A330 pilot base

      Maybe,...

      fleet are less than 280 tonne aircraft so are only good for 14 hour flights; it will be interesting to see if they keep those aircraft in a more dense configuration and use them on "shorter" routes.

      That's a configuration issue, not performance. SQ launched SIN-SFO-SIN with 275T aircraft. They're easily capable of going beyond 14hrs.

      all widebody flights from LAX will be on the A350 which does not have an A330 pilot base

      Maybe, but that's not impeding them in any way now, seeing as LAX-CDG/LHR/HND are all A330NEOs.

    5. Tim Is So Done Guest

      How dare you challenge Timmy.

    6. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Delta doesn't have pilot bases for every fleet type that operates in every hub but for international fleets that means that Delta has to create much more complex rotations which also makes it more difficult to cover with reserves when needed.
      Pulling together 3 widebody pilots when needed out of LAX is a lot more difficult than for MSP (which has no A350 pilot base but has A350 flights) or ATL - which has...

      Delta doesn't have pilot bases for every fleet type that operates in every hub but for international fleets that means that Delta has to create much more complex rotations which also makes it more difficult to cover with reserves when needed.
      Pulling together 3 widebody pilots when needed out of LAX is a lot more difficult than for MSP (which has no A350 pilot base but has A350 flights) or ATL - which has a little of everything.
      And BOS has no international pilots based there - a raw spot with their pilots.
      As much as Delta loves to create a complex puzzle which only a few can figure out, they do know what the complexity costs them. And they are committed to simplifying their international fleet around the A330 and A350 families just as AA and UA are doing around the Boeing 777 and 787. Obviously DL and UA have to get rid of their 767 fleets first.

    7. DesertGhost Guest

      Delta - the world's only PERFECT airline.

    8. Sean Guest

      I thought this was fascinating. I just flew on 519DN back from hnd-msp last weekend. In J, it doesn’t have center overhead bins which means no passenger service center. Sitting in the bulkhead, the lavs are right there and I had to my bags 3 seats back. Hopefully delta puts the overheads back in.

  10. Parnel Member

    Interesting as a "Premium" airline it flys so many economy passengers because it has so few Premium seats.

    1. S_LEE Gold

      "Scarcity" makes premium, so it's a premium airline to have less premium seats! It's just like "luxury" fashion brands burning their unsold products, right?

  11. Sharon Guest

    This should be interesting to see how this plays out, as delta will have 3 sub types of the a350, certainly not ideal for simplicity.

    Any news on the wide body order for Delta? What are they going to do with all their aging 767-300’s?

    Obviously some will be replaced by the 330-900 but they don’t have a big order backlog.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Sharon,
      Delta, Airbus and Rolls Royce have apparently reached agreement on an order for 20-25 A350-1000s to be delivered heavily in the 2026-28 time period and to be used to build the ICN hub. An announcement could come around the next earnings reporting period in mid-January.
      DL will use some of its A330NEO deliveries for 2024 to begin replacing its remaining 45 767-300ERs, 15 of which are just about out of time from...

      Sharon,
      Delta, Airbus and Rolls Royce have apparently reached agreement on an order for 20-25 A350-1000s to be delivered heavily in the 2026-28 time period and to be used to build the ICN hub. An announcement could come around the next earnings reporting period in mid-January.
      DL will use some of its A330NEO deliveries for 2024 to begin replacing its remaining 45 767-300ERs, 15 of which are just about out of time from a lifetime perspective. Another 15 need to be replaced in the next 5 years and the remainder could make it til 2030 depending on how aggressively DL uses them. The 767-400s could "make it" until around 2030.
      General Electric presented a proposal for 787s with maintenance overhaul rights on the GEnx as part of the bidding process for the A350-1000. Delta wants those rights on the GEnx since it is a much larger revenue base than for the Trent engines on the A350.
      I believe GE will make an offer to Airbus and DL to put the GEnx engine from the 787 on the A330NEO; GE bid to do that when the A330NEO was introduced but lost out to Rolls Royce.
      The disposition of the remaining 767 fleet will depend on an engine and airframe bid which could be placed in a couple years but probably won't be made just yet.
      There are also some potential used A350s that will come on the market including Asiana's A350 fleet if the Asiana/Korean merger is approved. Thai also might try to sell their A350 fleet if they go with the 787 as reported.

    2. Roberto Guest

      Is Delta really going to want to have 2 engine types on the 330 NEO?

    3. Roberto Ortiz-Puig Guest

      Is Delta really going to want 2 engine types on the 330-900. Seems it adds complexity which doesn’t make a lot of sense unless the revenue from the MTC makes it worthwhile.

    4. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Delta has GE and Pratt engines on both its 767-300ER and A330CEO fleet so all 3 engine makers on its total A330 fleet
      Engine diversity provides maintenance revenue insourcing opportunities. Airframe diversity adds pilot costs. Delta wants as many engine types on as few airframes as possible.
      The only thing sad is that some people can’t stand people explaining how the industry works.

    5. Tim Is So Done Guest

      Says the man fired from Delta.

    6. Roberto Ortiz-Puig Guest

      Timm, I was simply asking a question. I was curious cause having different engines does add the need to keep inventory for all the different engines. It’s not sad to seek some clarity on the topic.

    7. Tim Is So Done Guest

      He gets so upset by trolls that he takes it out on you. Sad!

    8. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Roberto
      you did not use "sad" so my use of that word was in response to the people that did use it.
      You validate why I provide the info I do.
      all the best.

    9. Tim Is So Done Guest

      Uh Timmy, you were the first comment to use “sad” in this thread. You used it in response to Roberto. No one else used it before you. @$$.

    10. Tim Dunn Diamond

      you, the one that bends over backwards to try to mock me, used it above before anyone else in this entire article.
      The timestamps don't lie.

      Tell us which other user names you have used in the past year?

      And, more importantly, what have you contributed to this or any topic other than to mock someone else?

    11. Tim Is So Done Guest

      No other names Tim. Just sick of you blathering on.

    12. FlyerDon Guest

      I’m not into the pick on Tim thing, but what you write here makes no sense to me at all. “Engine diversity provides maintenance revenue insourcing opportunities “. I admire your wordsmithing even if what you wrote makes no sense.

    13. Tim Dunn Diamond

      FlyerDon,
      Delta Tech Ops is authorized to overhaul not just the engines on every aircraft that Delta has on order but also for other airlines that operate that engine. In a few cases, Delta has the licenses to overhaul engines for models it does not fly such as the Trent 1000 engine on the 787 which is a very similar engine to the Trent 7000 engine on the A330NEO.
      Rolls Royce has exclusivity...

      FlyerDon,
      Delta Tech Ops is authorized to overhaul not just the engines on every aircraft that Delta has on order but also for other airlines that operate that engine. In a few cases, Delta has the licenses to overhaul engines for models it does not fly such as the Trent 1000 engine on the 787 which is a very similar engine to the Trent 7000 engine on the A330NEO.
      Rolls Royce has exclusivity to provide engines for the A330NEO and the A350 through 2030. GE provided original proposals to Airbus to power both of those fleets but Rolls won both. GE is the exclusive engine on the 777X, and was on the 777-300ER/200LR. Airlines have a choice of GE or Rolls engines on the 787 but GE has won about 2/3 of 787 engine orders.
      Delta is authorized to overhaul all versions of the Pratt and Whitney Geared Turbofan engine which is on all western narrowbody aircraft except for the 737MAX. Delta recently ordered the 737MAX and won the right to overhaul the LEAP engines on that aircraft.
      Delta has overhaul rights for the Rolls-Royce engines on the A350-900 and wanted to get overhaul rights for the Trent XWB 97 engine that powers the A350-1000 but Rolls apparently is not willing to give anyone those rights in part because the A350-1000 has sold far less than any other widebody including the A330NEO. Delta reportedly got a deal on the A350-900/A330NEO engines and overhaul contract that Rolls will never give to anyone again.
      The GEnx is the only new generation engine besides the Trent XWB 97 that Delta is not authorized to overhaul for itself or other customers.

      Since the 767-400s entered service (they are powered by GE engines), GE has only sold large engines to Delta to power 10 A330-300s.

      Delta has made clear in public statements that it intends to grow its engine maintenance revenues because it is high revenue - much higher margins than airline operations.

      ConcordeBoy has registered his dissent as a doubter.

      I expect to see Delta win the rights to overhaul the GEnx without buying the 787. Airbus and Delta might even succeed in negotiating with Rolls to give up exclusivity on the A330NEO early.

      btw, Delta's CFO and several other execs including in Tech Ops came from GE.
      Delta has had a great relationship with all 3 engine makers but none want to regain Delta's business more than GE.

    14. FlyerDon Guest

      Tim..the response I replied to inferred that an airline, Delta in this case, had to operate aircraft with a particular engine type in order to provide contract maintenance for that engine. That is simply not the case. I can also assure you no airline wants to have different engines on the same aircraft type, even though some do. From parts inventories to maintenance training to performance issues it can be a real pain in the...

      Tim..the response I replied to inferred that an airline, Delta in this case, had to operate aircraft with a particular engine type in order to provide contract maintenance for that engine. That is simply not the case. I can also assure you no airline wants to have different engines on the same aircraft type, even though some do. From parts inventories to maintenance training to performance issues it can be a real pain in the neck especially during operational meltdowns. Standardization saves money and most airlines love to save money.

    15. Frank Guest

      I think that is wishful thinking, GE benefits nothing from handing DL engine rights without them placing a substantial engine order.

      The a330neo platform has no real future, sales are drying up as more airlines opt for the 787 instead. I don't see GE showing interest in an a330neo proposal just for Delta.

      If DL wants engine rights for the GEnX they will have to order the 787 , other than that they...

      I think that is wishful thinking, GE benefits nothing from handing DL engine rights without them placing a substantial engine order.

      The a330neo platform has no real future, sales are drying up as more airlines opt for the 787 instead. I don't see GE showing interest in an a330neo proposal just for Delta.

      If DL wants engine rights for the GEnX they will have to order the 787 , other than that they could just keep ordering a330neo's because GE on the a330neo is never going to happen.

    16. Tim Dunn Diamond

      you were doing ok, Frank, on recognizing that the A330NEO has limited potential as a RR powered aircraft.
      The A330NEO has been hurt by all of Rolls' problems on the Trent 1000 on the 787 which came before the A330NEO as did its engine, the Trent 7000 which is a sister engine.
      If Airbus sees potential for A330NEO sales including with another engine, they will do what they can the A330 program alive.

      you were doing ok, Frank, on recognizing that the A330NEO has limited potential as a RR powered aircraft.
      The A330NEO has been hurt by all of Rolls' problems on the Trent 1000 on the 787 which came before the A330NEO as did its engine, the Trent 7000 which is a sister engine.
      If Airbus sees potential for A330NEO sales including with another engine, they will do what they can the A330 program alive.
      Airbus recognizes that it is "lights out" for the A330 program if there aren't sufficient sales and Delta even now can't fully keep the A330 program alive even if they are the largest customer and operator.
      You and others fail to recognize what is at stake for Airbus and why a replacement of the remaining 767 fleet at Delta - an order for 40-50 aircraft - is enough to launch a re-engined GE A330NEO or simply allow DL to order RR powered A330NEOs and it will still be lights out for the A330.

    17. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Is Delta really going to want 2 engine types on the 330-900.

      2 engines types are not offered on the A330-900, and no one other than this single commenter realistically expects there to be, considering the comparative (dearth of) sales for that model, vis-a-vis similar options.

    18. Tim Dunn Diamond

      ConcordeBoy,
      do we a favor and let me know how many of the following derivative models have been sold and while you are at it let me know how much each engine and airframe manufacturer spent to develop that derivative and the engines that power it.
      A330NEO (Airbus spent $2 billion, GE and Rolls use modified versions of the engines on the 787 which was already developed)
      A350-1000
      A380
      B767-400

      ConcordeBoy,
      do we a favor and let me know how many of the following derivative models have been sold and while you are at it let me know how much each engine and airframe manufacturer spent to develop that derivative and the engines that power it.
      A330NEO (Airbus spent $2 billion, GE and Rolls use modified versions of the engines on the 787 which was already developed)
      A350-1000
      A380
      B767-400
      B747-8
      B777-200LR

      The A330NEO has sold more than all of those models although the A350-1000 is catching up.
      Not one of those derivative models sold as many copies as the A330NEO.
      GE spent $2 billion just on the GE9X engine that powers the 777X. Boeing has yet to deliver the first aircraft so the bill for them keeps growing.

    19. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      @Tim Dunn

      Better yet, let me know when you realize that it's not the late-'90s through early '00s anymore, which is when design freeze and engine selection most of those were conceived. Ya think the manufacturers may have changed their tactics, just a bit?

      ...particularly seeing as all of those had utterly lethargic sales, and only one even bothered with a second engine type.

      Also, and further to the point that keeps sailing...

      @Tim Dunn

      Better yet, let me know when you realize that it's not the late-'90s through early '00s anymore, which is when design freeze and engine selection most of those were conceived. Ya think the manufacturers may have changed their tactics, just a bit?

      ...particularly seeing as all of those had utterly lethargic sales, and only one even bothered with a second engine type.

      Also, and further to the point that keeps sailing straight over your head: who is going to buy MORE A330NEOS in any appreciable quantity, such as to inspire FOMO in an engine maker??

      It didn't sell worth a squat to large network carriers, other than DL+MH (arguably TP, if we're to call them that) and that doesn't look likely to change, as there's barely any sizable carriers left who haven't already picked their next-gen 250 medium-hauler.

      Doesn't help that carriers like HA coming out and publicly admitting that they didn't want the A330NEO, because no one else wanted it, thus they didn't wish to be stuck with an oddball in their fleet.

      That isn't the kind of thing that triggers an "oh crap, we've GOT to get in on this" response from an OEM.

    20. Tim Dunn Diamond

      ConcordeBoy,
      you are clearly a smart guy
      The A330NEO has sold far better than a number of derivatives and Airbus spent a fraction on developing it compared to other models.
      And you clearly believe the A330NEO has no future. I will leave it to you and Airbus to sort that out.
      More than half of the A330NEOs in service are owned by leasing companies.
      There are many small airlines that...

      ConcordeBoy,
      you are clearly a smart guy
      The A330NEO has sold far better than a number of derivatives and Airbus spent a fraction on developing it compared to other models.
      And you clearly believe the A330NEO has no future. I will leave it to you and Airbus to sort that out.
      More than half of the A330NEOs in service are owned by leasing companies.
      There are many small airlines that want a low cost medium to long range capable widebody at lower rates than the A350 and B787.
      and you also are fixated on the cost to put the GEnx on the A330NEO. I believe it is minimal compared to any other re-engine project.
      And if DL holds holds out for an order for a GEnx powered A330NEO, they could likely order 50 of them until 2035 since it is unlikely there will be any other new technology aircraft before then.
      and it might honestly be worth Delta's while to share in the cost of a re-engine job on the A330NEO if it gets access to the much, much larger base of GEnx powered 787s to overhaul for the next 15 plus years.
      Let's bookmark this thought and come back to it by 2030 if the A330NEO has quit selling and/or Rolls alone still supplies engines for it.
      I do appreciate the respectful conversation. Despite a few other people, it is worth participating in chats because of people like you.

    21. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      And you clearly believe the A330NEO has no future.

      I never said that. I said it likely doesn't have future sales potential to warrant interest in (paying, whether by OEM or customer) for an additional engine type to be certified to it.

      And, as a caveat, it is speculative at best: I mean, Cathay could surprise us with an order for 30+ tomorrow, for all we know. Or EK could resume its previous order, particularly...

      And you clearly believe the A330NEO has no future.

      I never said that. I said it likely doesn't have future sales potential to warrant interest in (paying, whether by OEM or customer) for an additional engine type to be certified to it.

      And, as a caveat, it is speculative at best: I mean, Cathay could surprise us with an order for 30+ tomorrow, for all we know. Or EK could resume its previous order, particularly considering how wishy-washy it's been on its mediumhauler selection over the last few years.

      Seems rather doubtful at this point, and if the likes of SQ is any indication, it seems Airbus might be more interested in selling derated A350s, if given the choice.

      So who knows.

    22. Tim Dunn Diamond

      flyer don,
      yes, it is possible that GE could give Delta maintenance overhaul rights for the GEnx without Delta operating the engine in its own fleet but I am not sure I see the incentive for GE to do that.
      GE wants to sell engines to Delta. When GE is looking at 100 Rolls-Royce powered Airbus widebodies in Delta's next-gen engine fleet, GE wants a piece of that action.
      Delta could buy...

      flyer don,
      yes, it is possible that GE could give Delta maintenance overhaul rights for the GEnx without Delta operating the engine in its own fleet but I am not sure I see the incentive for GE to do that.
      GE wants to sell engines to Delta. When GE is looking at 100 Rolls-Royce powered Airbus widebodies in Delta's next-gen engine fleet, GE wants a piece of that action.
      Delta could buy 787s w/ GEnx engines and set up a leasing company but I think GE will figure out how to get the engine on planes that Delta wants to fly.

      concordeboy,
      If there is a future for the A330NEO, and I believe there is, GE can figure out how to get the GEnx engine on it if they can see enough demand and the economics work. Given that Delta will likely need to order a bunch of aircraft for fleet replacement beyond an A350-1000 order, they could help GE get where it needs to be to make putting the GEnx on the A330NEO economically viable.
      There will be more sales of the A330NEO esp. as long as demand for the A350 and B787 remain strong which seems certain at least until the end of the decade.
      again, let's bookmark this conversation

    23. Ivan Guest

      Wow thats interesting.

  12. N Pogo 1 Guest

    Waiting for Tim Dunn to hop on here and argue that Delta has less premium seats than UA (or even AA on the 777-200 and 777-300ER) because Delta is a more premium airline, and obviously, more premium airlines have less premium seats than airlines that are less premium.

  13. ConcordeBoy Diamond

    Wanted to get this in before the multi-directional trolling inevitably starts:

    These aircraft will be built to the new 283tonne standard*, which not only features lower-weight components, slightly modified empennage, and 10cm thinner walls.... but Airbus has also quietly granted these aircraft the same fuel-capacity as the A350-900ULR, while no longer requiring the forward cargo bay to be sealed.

    So combine 3 tonnes more MTOW, with approx 2.6 tonnes less passenger weight, and significantly higher...

    Wanted to get this in before the multi-directional trolling inevitably starts:

    These aircraft will be built to the new 283tonne standard*, which not only features lower-weight components, slightly modified empennage, and 10cm thinner walls.... but Airbus has also quietly granted these aircraft the same fuel-capacity as the A350-900ULR, while no longer requiring the forward cargo bay to be sealed.

    So combine 3 tonnes more MTOW, with approx 2.6 tonnes less passenger weight, and significantly higher fuel tankage capability -- and you could have some really interesting routes in DL's future.

    India seems a given. Be compelling to see what else (fingers crossed for a return to Singapore, this time with a nonstop).

    *(not sure if DL it taking them at that weight, but it has the option)

  14. I’m Bill Guest

    Why do we even call it “business class” anymore? When you’ve got a private suite with a sliding door it’s basically “first class” from a few years ago. And premium economy is now the old business class. Only difference is there are more of both at the expense of good ‘ole economy class. And the prices in business are basically the same if not more than first from years ago. The airlines have done a...

    Why do we even call it “business class” anymore? When you’ve got a private suite with a sliding door it’s basically “first class” from a few years ago. And premium economy is now the old business class. Only difference is there are more of both at the expense of good ‘ole economy class. And the prices in business are basically the same if not more than first from years ago. The airlines have done a great job playing the old “switcheroo” shell game with us. They’ve just added more high-revenue shells in the process.
    Where they’ve maintained “tradition” is on domestic flights (including Hawaii) that have replaced luxurious wide-bodied aircraft with smaller twin-engine metal. I blame ETOPS certification and Southwest for that downgrade. Oh well….

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      The (obvious) answer is because a distinct First class still exists with plenty of carriers.

      That, and your blame is misplaced: the real "culprit" are cost & capability.

      There's not much that an older DC10 or L1011 can do that today's A321s can't: carry 200pax+? TransCons? Cross oceans? Difference being, the latter does it for a fraction of the cost, and can fit into smaller gates.

      Barring extraordinary cargo requirements (which is the...

      The (obvious) answer is because a distinct First class still exists with plenty of carriers.

      That, and your blame is misplaced: the real "culprit" are cost & capability.

      There's not much that an older DC10 or L1011 can do that today's A321s can't: carry 200pax+? TransCons? Cross oceans? Difference being, the latter does it for a fraction of the cost, and can fit into smaller gates.

      Barring extraordinary cargo requirements (which is the only reason the widebodies dominated Hawaii-Mainland for as long as they did), why "waste" a widebody on something like that, when all you'll end up doing it adding pointless cycles?

    2. Widgethead Guest

      the reason for the big 3 going to Polaris, Delta ONE and Envoy class in the first place was that companies were willing to shell out for international business class but not first class. Therefore the airlines adapted to accommodate them. I see it all the time in Delta ONE........entire Japanese families relocating between Tokyo and Detroit and v/v. Domestically not that big of a deal. A lot of the cabin is medallion upgrades which aren't allowed internationally.

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ConcordeBoy Diamond

<b><i>That equates to loss of revenue and angry passengers.</i></b> LOL. There's no commercial aircraft past, present, or even publicly on the drawing board, that can go out of 5500ft elevation for a 16hr+ journey, without taking a payload hit. Heck, the A350 is one of the very few aircraft that can do it at ANY viable payload.

2
Tim Is So Done Guest

It is sad. For you.

2
DC Guest

Yawn

2
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