Boeing's ability to compete for Delta business not hampered by Bombardier trade rift

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Fleet efficiency is a major lever Delta Air Lines intends to pull as it works to slash its unit costs (excluding fuel) in 2018 to 2% or lower. Next year, the airline plans to double the pace of fleet replacement, driven by more than 50 scheduled narrowbody deliveries.

Delta is in the process of a multi year programme to upgauge its domestic fleet as it adds more Airbus A321s and Boeing 737-900s to its fleet. The higher-density aircraft have helped Delta to bolster its revenue due to a higher number of premium seats available on those jets.

Now the airline is reportedly evaluating a new narrowbody order, and major airframers Airbus and Boeing are the main contenders in the contest. Although Delta and Boeing have been involved in high profile rifts during the last few years, the tension is not likely to play a major role in Delta's aircraft evaluations. Ultimately, aircraft economics will carry more weight in the airline's analysis than political manoeuvring. Business is business, politics is politics.

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