Delta Airbus A321neo: Cabins, Routes, & More

Delta Airbus A321neo: Cabins, Routes, & More

17

It’s a big day for Delta, as the Atlanta-based airline has today started commercial flights with its Airbus A321neos. Not only are these planes incredibly fuel efficient, but they also offer a new passenger experience, so let’s go over all the details.

Delta puts Airbus A321neo into service

In late March 2022, Delta marked an exciting milestone for its narrow body fleet renewal, as the airline took delivery of its very first Airbus A321neo:

  • Delta has ordered a total of 155 Airbus A321neos, in addition to the carrier’s 127 Airbus A321ceos, meaning the carrier’s entire A321 fleet will eventually consist of 282 aircraft
  • Delta expects to take delivery of 26 A321neos in 2022, with all A321neos to be delivered by 2027
  • While Delta took delivery of its first A321neo in late March, the first jet hasn’t entered service until today
Delta Airbus A321neo

For context, the A321neo is exactly the same size as the previous version of the A321. What’s different is that the jet is about 20% more fuel efficient, which also means that the plane has more range. It’s incredible to see the progress that aircraft manufacturers have made with fuel efficiency, which is great for airlines, passengers, and the environment.

This added efficiency is largely thanks to new engines, with the “neo” standing for “new engine option” (while “ceo” stands for “current engine option”).

The A321neo offers much better fuel efficiency

I also find it noteworthy how small the gap is between Delta’s A321ceo deliveries and A321neo deliveries. Delta took delivery of A321ceos all the way through December 2021, which are at this point outdated aircraft (since the A321neo is the same aircraft, just more efficient, and has been in production for several years). Then in March 2022 the airline started taking delivery of the more efficient version of the jet. Delta’s current A321 fleet is an average of just over three years old, so it’s still quite young.

Delta Airbus A321neo passenger experience

What should passengers expect onboard Delta’s Airbus A321neos? The A321neos that Delta is initially taking delivery of feature 194 seats, which is three more seats than you’ll find on current A321s. Specifically, you can expect:

  • 20 first class seats
  • 42 extra legroom economy seats (Comfort+)
  • 132 economy seats

The planes will have high-speed Viasat Wi-Fi, seatback entertainment, and power at every seat. On top of that, Delta is debuting its new domestic first class seat on the A321neo. This is the first real innovation we’ve seen to domestic first class seats within the United States in a while, and I’m excited to experience this. This looks somewhat similar to Turkish Airlines’ A321neo business class, but not nearly as spacious.

Delta Airbus A321neo first class
Delta Airbus A321neo first class
Delta Airbus A321neo first class

Delta is historically known for having nicer cabins on narrow body aircraft than American and United. Delta’s trick is that it puts TVs at every seat and makes the cabins look cool, but from an efficiency standpoint, Delta crams in seats, much like American.

Delta Airbus A321neo economy class
Delta Airbus A321neo economy class

For example, American’s A321neos have 196 seats, so that’s only two more seats than Delta has on these planes. So while Delta has slightly fewer seats than American, the A321neo has more seats than the previous version of the A321.

In the long run, Delta is planning even more innovation for its A321neos. While the timeline remains to be seen, Delta plans to take delivery of 12 very premium A321neos, featuring just 148 seats. This includes:

  • 16 Delta One seats (business class), which will be fully flat and in a 1-1 configuration
  • 12 Delta Premium Select seats (premium economy), which will be in a 2-2 configuration
  • 54 Comfort+ seats (extra legroom economy), which will be in a 3-3 configuration
  • 66 Main Cabin seats (economy), which will be in a 3-3 configuration

Details regarding this are very limited as of now, as I expect it will be a few years before these particular planes are in service. They’re likely to operate on premium transcontinental routes, which are currently served by 757s and 767s.

Delta Airbus A321neo routes

Delta’s Airbus A321neo has entered service as of today. Delta will initially be basing its A321neos in Boston, operating the following routes;

  • As of May 20, 2022, the A321neo will fly between Boston (BOS) and San Francisco (SFO) 2x daily; as of September 12, 2022, service will increase to 3x daily
  • As of August 11, 2022, the A321neo will fly between Boston (BOS) and Seattle (SEA) 1x daily; as of September 20, 2022, service will increase to 2x daily, and as of October 20, 2022, service will increase to 3x daily
  • As of August 20, 2022, the A321neo will fly between Boston (BOS) and San Diego (SAN) 1x daily
  • As of August 20, 2022, the A321neo will fly between Boston (BOS) and Denver (DEN) 1x daily
Delta’s first Airbus A321neo routes

Bottom line

Delta’s first of 155 Airbus A321neos has just entered service. The A321neo is a fuel efficient plane, and will allow Delta to operate many routes with lower costs.

In this case there’s also a new passenger experience to look forward to. Delta has introduced new first class seats on the A321neos. On top of that, eventually a subfleet of A321neos should be in a premium configuration, featuring flat beds, premium economy, and more.

What do you make of Delta’s new A321neos?

Conversations (17)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Eddie Olomon Guest

    Will the delta A321NEO operate at lax airport.

  2. Merry Chris Moss Guest

    No way am I flying that to the west coast when I can hop down to JFK and get a flat seat.

  3. TheBestBlackBrent Gold

    Wow, good to see Delta is about to enter the 21st century!

  4. AA FA Guest

    Wondering how Delta seemingly got away with the deletion of both 2L/R and 3L/R, while AA could only get the FAA to certify the deletion of 2L/R. No doubt AA would have loved to use the extra leg room from the 3L/R exit doors to fill with more seats.

    1. Lloydtk New Member

      Delta opted for a double overwing exit. This is an extra from Airbus called the cabin flex program. Turkish choose to add this as well. Possible a very expensive thing that AA don't wanna pay.

    2. ThAAt one guy Guest

      They opted for that because of passenger capacity. Trust me AA would’ve loved that exit if already didn’t cram as many passengers in it’s current configuration

  5. GBOAC Diamond

    Curious to find out whether there are any spotting differences between the CEO and NEO versions. I'm guessing the only differences might be in the engines and not the airframe.

    1. Phillip Gold

      The Neo engines have two small extensions at the back, one at the top and one at the bottom. Overall the engines are a different shape but for a distinction that doesn’t require a side by side comparison, look for the engine extensions.

  6. CSR 2.0 Guest

    Question for those in the know - is it possible to order the new engines and replace the engines on the A321CEOs Delta (or any airline) has already taken delivery of? Obviously the capital investment would be high but given how long Delta keeps their aircraft, I assume the fuel efficiency would more than pay for it over the long run.

    Apologies if this is a stupid question

    1. Original Steve Guest

      Negative, there's some structural differences that would precluded putting NEO engines on CEO builds...namely the engine clearance space and engine pylons.

    2. CSR 2.0 Guest

      Ah interesting. thank you!

    3. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Barring additional reinforcement requirements, there's nothing stopping the engine or pylon from being adapted to CEO builds, seeing as it's essentially the same wing as the 1987 demonstrator...

      ...well, nothing except the not-so-inconsequential cost of certifying such a frankenstein to both the European, North American, and Asian CAAs who'd need to bless it inorder for it to go into service. Which is something that absolutely no one would want to spend money or time doing.

      Barring additional reinforcement requirements, there's nothing stopping the engine or pylon from being adapted to CEO builds, seeing as it's essentially the same wing as the 1987 demonstrator...

      ...well, nothing except the not-so-inconsequential cost of certifying such a frankenstein to both the European, North American, and Asian CAAs who'd need to bless it inorder for it to go into service. Which is something that absolutely no one would want to spend money or time doing.

  7. Another Steve Guest

    It will be nice to be able to sit in first class and not have my meager seat pitch invaded by the golf bro in front of me who punches that recline button as soon as the nose gear lifts off the runway, and then proceeds to shift his considerable bulk up and down for 3 hours audibly straining the structural capacity of the aluminum seat frame and requiring me to type like a mantis. Other than that, this seat does not seem like a huge improvement.

  8. Bgriff Guest

    I'm curious what these overhead bins are going to be like, they certainly don't look like any of the ones Delta has taken delivery of lately.

    1. Jambalaya Guest

      They look huge and the opposite of the Boeing Sky Interior that feels so open. Looks claustrophobic in pictures. Have to see in person

  9. AdamH Gold

    Hate the FC seats with the winged headrest. Find them super claustrophobic and make it that much harder to peak out the window.

  10. Kevin Guest

    I’m onboard the inaugural flight right now in economy, what a fantastic aircraft this is. These seats seem identical to the seats found on the A220 with a few minor changes

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Original Steve Guest

Negative, there's some structural differences that would precluded putting NEO engines on CEO builds...namely the engine clearance space and engine pylons.

3
Kevin Guest

I’m onboard the inaugural flight right now in economy, what a fantastic aircraft this is. These seats seem identical to the seats found on the A220 with a few minor changes

3
Lloydtk New Member

Delta opted for a double overwing exit. This is an extra from Airbus called the cabin flex program. Turkish choose to add this as well. Possible a very expensive thing that AA don't wanna pay.

1
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,788,713 Miles Traveled

27,627,500 Words Written

32,315 Posts Published