Delta Mulls Huge Order, United Continental to Follow?

As the economy recovers and air travel demand increases, several American carriers have been looking at replacing aging fleets with newer, more fuel efficient models.

This week, news surfaced that Delta is looking at purchasing 200 new single-aisle aircraft with a possible option of an additional 200 to replace the airline’s aging fleet which is the oldest in the United States amongst major airlines.

According to reports, Delta sent out a request for proposals to Airbus, Boeing, and Bombardier last month.

If Delta does place an order for 200 new aircraft, it would be the largest order in aviation history surpassing last week’s order for 180 Airbus by Indian carrier IndiGo.

Delta is looking to replace several of its DC-9s, Boeing 757-200s and Airbus A320s which make up a bulk of the Atlanta-based carrier’s domestic fleet.

As Delta looks to upgrade, the newly merged United Continental Holdings, Inc. is also looking to upgrade its fleet as the two airlines transition to a post-merger airline under the United name. Like Delta, United Continental is looking to replace many of its aging narrow-body aircraft including the A19, A320, and Boeing 737 which United grounded in 2009. While Delta’s fleet is the oldest in the country and United Continental is looking to start phasing out Continental Airlines in 2011, no timeline for new orders has been announced.

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