Delta buys 100 Boeing Max planes, its first major order with the manufacturer in more than a decade

Delta Air Lines planes at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.

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Delta Air Lines is buying 100 Boeing 737 Max 10 planes, its first major order for new aircraft from the U.S. manufacturer in more than a decade.

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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