US carrier Delta Air Lines has announced a first-time A350-1000 aircraft order to meet its “needs for modern efficient widebodies.” The airline ordered 20 aircraft adding to its portfolio of 450 Airbus aircraft.

This order will extend Delta’s current Airbus order book which stands at over 200 including aircraft from the A220 and A350-900 families.

According to Airbus, the carrier is set to “benefit” from the A350-1000’s operational efficiency. The aircraft carries short to ultra-long-range capabilities featuring a range of up to 9,700 nautical miles.

Christian Scherer, CEO of the Commercial Aircraft business, Airbus emphasised its longstanding partnership with Delta.

Scherer said: “Delta was the first U.S. airline to operate the A350-900 and is doing so with great success. Delta now welcomes the A350-1000, opening even more opportunities for the airline and its customers.

“We are proud that our aircraft serve the entirety of Delta’s impressive global network as this stellar airline takes fleet efficiency to the next level.”

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By GlobalData

The A350-1000 features a fuselage seven metres longer than Airbus’ A350-900 version, containing modified wing trailing edges and larger six-wheel landing gear.

In addition, the A350’s cabin interior is set to offer Delta passengers added comfort through its wide seats, high ceilings and customisable ambient lighting.

Ed Bastian, Delta’s CEO, added how the fleet will add to the company’s international expansion aims.

Bastian said: “The A350-1000 will be the largest, most capable aircraft in Delta’s fleet and is an important step forward for our international expansion”.

“The aircraft complements our fleet and offers an elevated customer experience, with more premium seats and best-in-class amenities, as well as expanded cargo capabilities.”

This order indicates an effective start to the year and aligns with the airline’s ambitions for 2024. In its 2023 fiscal results, Bastian stated: “in 2024, demand for air travel remains strong, and our customer base is in a healthy financial position with travel as a top priority.”

Delta stated a solid yearly outlook in 2023, with a 13% revenue growth from 2022 and a 6% increase in domestic passenger revenue.