MIAMI – Delta Air Lines (DL) has taken delivery of one more Airbus A321 from Dublin-based leasing company, SMBC Aviation Capital.

The new aircraft is the sixth A321 aircraft to be delivered to DL as part of an eight (8) aircraft transaction between the American flag carrier and the Irish aircraft lessor. The airplane was based on Airbus’ facilities in Hamburg and on February 22nd it delivered to DL equipped with two CFM56-5B3/3 engines. 

Delta Air Lines N357DN Airbus A321-211(WL). Photo: Otto Kirchof/Airways

Why DL chose the CFM56-5B3/3 Engine?

Since the middle of January, the American carrier has received five (5) similar aircraft of this type, equipped with the same engines. The CFM56-5B3/3 engines have been widely popular with leasing companies, low-cost carriers as well as several major airlines.

The high reliability, long on-wing life, and low maintenance costs are only a few of the advantages they offer. This type of engine provides a wide field of customization, according to the business model of the company.

Moreover, the global on-wing, off-wing engine overhaul and repair capabilities are providing lower costs as well as an increase in maintenance access and asset availability.    

Delta Air Lines N363DN Airbus A321-211. Photo: Luke Ayers/Airways

The Airbus A321 as DL’s Workhorse on Domestic Market

Only a few years ago, DL received its first Airbus A321, which was the first out of the final order of 122. The airline decided to renew its narrow-body fleet and chose the Airbus A321 for three (3) main reasons:

  1. More efficient operation
  2. Higher capacity
  3. New cabin interior

At that time, DL needed to replace its older Boeing 737 as well as MD-88 aircraft from its narrow-body operations. Airbus A321’s newer engines, as well as Sharklet wingtips, provided longer range and great fuel efficiency.

Moreover, the older aircraft provided significantly less capacity compared to the Airbus A321. For example, the MD-88 offered 149 seats, compared to 192 on the A321. Last but not least, the new cabin interior provided space for improved inflight entertainment and WiFi.

Delta Air Lines N391DN Airbus A321-211 (Thank You livery). Photo: Nick Sheeder/Airways

A Customer-favorite Aircraft

Greg May, DL’s Senior Vice President – Supply Chain Management said: “The A321 is fast becoming a favorite aircraft of our customers and employees alike. Its excellent operating economics and customer capacity also make it a great fit for our U.S. domestic network.” 

At the moment the American carrier has 117 Airbus A321 in its fleet and their average age is only 2.6 years. On-board the Airbus A321s, the airline offers three-class configuration, First Class, Delta Comfort+ and Economy, as well as several amenities such as Wi-Fi, satellite TV, and Flat Bed.

Featured image: Delta Air Lines N370DN Airbus A321-211. Photo: Nick Sheeder/Airways