Delta Air Lines will announce an order for 100 Boeing 737-900s tomorrow, according to several sources. Delta has been examining two potential procurements, one to replace 757s, and another to replace DC-9s. This announcement is the first of the two competitions to be decided.
Deliveries for the 737-900s will be in the near-term, with all deliveries completed by 2018. As a result, Boeing did not offer its NE737, and Airbus was forced to offer a mixture of A321 and A321neo in the competition. We understand that Boeing won the competition on two factors — price and the availability of early delivery positions, which is more difficult for Airbus, which would have needed to juggle delivery positions to accommodate Delta’s needs.
This order has a value of $8.58 billion at list prices.
I smell a 3-way deal. DL is desperate to get rid of its gas guzzling, maintenance intensive DC-9/MD-80/757s, SWA operates lots of 717s it does not want now that it is continuing with its 737 exclusivity, B holds the leases on most of those 717s, and B desperately wants to sell 737s to DL to keep A out. So B helps DL get 86 717s (and maybe others on which it may hold leases), DL buys lots of 739s, SWA gets a sweet deal on the hundreds of 737NG/NEs for at least a decade by essentially trading in its 717s, and B keeps Leahy away from DL not only with the first 100 739s, but also for the second 100-plane batch with the 717s. That’s why DL deferred the second batch of 100. The key here, I think, is that the 717 was available in large enough numbers for a buyer who really wants them. That’s my theory at least. This will not be the case with U/Continental.
WN’s CEO Gary Kelly has repeatedly stated that they will keep the B717s. He has been quoted as saying this in “Airline Business” and “Air Transport World”.
True a while back, but since B’s announcement of the 737NE, SW’s tune has changed.