Delta Air Lines planes at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.
The deal includes has options for 30 more of the planes.
The new order is good news for Boeing as Airbus recently won high-profile orders, including with China’s state-owned airlines. Boeing lamented trade tensions when that order was announced.
Atlanta-based Delta is the only one of the top four U.S. carriers that hasn’t ordered new Boeing jets in recent years, favoring Airbus as it beefed up both its narrow-body and longer-range wide-body fleet. Delta retired older Boeing 777s during the pandemic and has been taking more delivery of Airbus A350s twin-aisle planes.
Delta’s CEO, Ed Bastian, had previously hinted at an order for Max planes. When asked at a recent investor conference about a potential order of the narrow-body planes, Bastian said: “We’ve been trying to get a deal done with Boeing on that … hopefully we’ll be able to figure that out.”
In 2017, Delta was in the middle of a trade dispute between Boeing and Canada’s Bombardier, the then-producer of C-Series narrow-body planes, which Delta ordered. Boeing alleged Bombardier was selling the planes below cost, a case it eventually lost. Airbus later took over the program, renaming the planes the A220.
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