Delta Air Lines shows its opportunistic streak with P&W deal and CSeries interiors influence

Premium Analysis

There are many factors that distinguish Delta Air Lines from its large US global network rivals American and Delta. One way Delta differentiates itself is through its ancillary businesses, including its third-party MRO business and the Trainer refinery it purchased in 2012.

Close to a year ago the airline created Delta Flight Products, which focuses on cabin interiors, avionics and in-flight entertainment systems. The airline has concluded that dealing with interiors is one of the most frustrating aspects of aircraft manufacturing, and believes that subset of the aviation business is ineffectively managed.

At this point, it is tough to determine the level of Delta’s involvement in the interiors business. But Delta Flight Products is working with Bombardier on its CSeries interiors, and its MRO arm is poised to become a major overhauler of geared turbofan engines, powering Airbus A320neo family aircraft and the CSeries.

Delta is now a customer for both those aircraft types, and its involvement in engine servicing and interior configuration are prominent examples of the airline exhibiting a certain level of opportunism that is unique in the US market place.

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