Delta to Add Boeing 717 Aircraft to its Fleet
As part of its domestic fleet restructuring plan, Delta Airlines announced it will add 88 Boeing 717 aircraft to its fleet starting in 2013. The aircraft will be leased from Southwest Airlines and will replace 50-seat regional jets and some older DC-9 aircraft.
Once in the Delta fleet, the aircraft will be equipped with 12 first-class seats, 15 Economy Comfort seats, and 83 seats in the main cabin.
The Boeing 717 is a twin-engine, single-aisle aircraft designed by McDonnell Douglas before that aircraft manufacturer merged with Boeing. It was originally designated the MD-95 and is the third-generation of the DC-9. The 717 was designed for up to 117 passengers and has a range of 2060 nautical miles.
The first 717s entered service in 1999, two years after the merger. Production ended in 2006 after 156 were manufactured.
The start of 717 service is contingent upon the ratification of a new agreement with Delta’s pilots that covers aircraft flexibility. A tentative agreement that would allow Boeing 717 flying was approved on May 21 by the Master Executive Council of the Delta Air Line Pilots Association.
Under the terms of the agreement with Southwest, Delta also has the opportunity to acquire up to 70 76-seat, two-class regional jets.
(Photo: J. Griffin)