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Delta Receives Last Boeing Airplane, The Future Is All Airbus

Delta Air Lines took delivery of its very last factory-fresh Boeing aircraft—the 130th 737-900(ER) to join its fleet. From now on, what used to be one of Boeing's largest customers, has only scheduled for delivery brand-new Airbus planes. After 130 Boeing 737-900(ER)s being delivered straight from Boeing, a chapter has momentarily closed between the manufacturer and the Atlanta-based airline. Today, the airline remains operating a gigantic fleet of 530 Boeing planes, including the 717-200,… ( More...

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Mike Boote 33
Delta has always been a smart shopper. They have publicly stated they are very interested in the new Boeing jet, but Boeing keeps putting off the launch (understandably). Boeing has been making strange decisions of late and those decisions are now biting them in the butt. The '797' launch may be a long way off and Boeing better hope Airbus doesn't beat them to the punch.
mbrews 2
I agree Delta is a smart shopper. including the firm fuel supply from buying the Conoco NJ refinery for $ 100 Million. That's roughly the list price for a single wide body.
- BUT I'm not a delta customer; their name spells -- Darn, Everything Leads To Atlanta. :)
Mike Boote 3
Speaking strictly for me - Atlanta aside - I'd much rather fly through Detroit than Chicago. Detroit is such a pleasure.
I'd much prefer Atlanta over LaGuardia. Sadly, the only flights for me on Delta go to LaGuardia and then connect from there. Much prefer Detroit and Atlanta over the utter chaos known as LGA.
Mike Boote 1
You're right about the acronym - I read somewhere that 20% of all their planes touch Atlanta every day. Over 1,000 flights per day in Atlanta. Fortunately, that airport does work well (as long as you're familiar with it). There was an old joke in California that if you flew from LA to San Francisco, you still had to change planes in Atlanta!
John Gideon 5
In Alabama, we always said that when you died, whether you go to Heaven or Hell, you'll need to connect through Atlanta.
siriusloon 7
I agree with you, but Airbus hasn't always made good decisions, either. The A380 didn't sell anywhere near as many as they confidently predicted and the A400M is WAY over-budget and behind schedule.
william baker 1
If im not mistaken with Airbus but arent there A330neos having engine bleed issues where fumes are getting into the cabin more then other planes????
saitek290pro 27
Boeing f'd up big time over the past 10 plus years with aircraft. They killed it with the 787, but then it should have been all in on that 757 replacement. They skipped it with the 737 MAX and Airbus killed Boeing with the A321XLR. Now Boeing has a ruined 737 program, no 757 replacement.
Sorry Boeing. You. Lose. All you have left is Southwest.
jack cagle 26
For so long, Boeing has been telling the airlines what they need, not what the airlines wanted. They should have never destroyed the tooling for the 757.
For all its qualities, the 757 suffers from the same shortcoming as the 737, à too narrow cabin. What was barely ok in the 1960’s is no longer ok now.
Joe Connolly 1
Wow you hit it right on the head- Having worked to supply Boeing in the past, it had always been "give us what we ask for, not what you think we need" So now that arrogance is coming home to roost. If they would have followed their own mantra...
siriusloon -6
So they could tell airlines they need 757s? What if those airlines wanted something else (as in new)?

Maybe Boeing should have kept the tooling for the Stratocruiser, too?
Michael Hope 5
I would love to go on a Stratocruiser.
william baker 1
Bring me along with you Michael. That plane looks amazing.
mike SUT 1
My first flight on an airplane was in 1956 on a Boeing Stratocruiser....London to Lima Peru via a few gas stops along the was also my first engine fire on an aircraft, burst into flames right on the ramp on starting....emergency evacuation. I went on to a military, the Airline career (NWA and DAL)...I've flown Boeing, Lockheed, McDonnell-Douglas and Airbus. Give me a Boeing any day...
R.G. Crawford 1
What is the main differences between them?
Ricky Scott 10
It is the MacDac mindset that killed McDonald Douglas and is now Killing Boeing with the same mindset. Phil Condit was a fool to let McD buy Boeing with Boeings money. Then Harry the Hatchet came in and installed all upper McDac people and into management and then canned the Boeing People. Its been going down hill ever since.
zdj707 4
Where can I learn more about this - I've seen heaps of people say the exact same thing but haven't been able to find more information on it.
Ricky Scott 4
From this article too, it explains a lot of what was talking about

"To understand why, you need to go back to 1997, when Boeing merged with McDonnell Douglas. Technically, Boeing bought McDonnell Douglas. But, as Richard Aboulafia, a noted industry analyst with the Teal Group, told me, “McDonnell Douglas in effect acquired Boeing with Boeing’s money.” McDonnell Douglas executives became key players in the new company, and the McDonnell Douglas culture, averse to risk and obsessed with cost-cutting, weakened Boeing’s historical commitment to making big investments in new products. Aboulafia says, “After the merger, there was a real battle over the future of the company, between the engineers and the finance and sales guys.” The nerds may have been running the show in Silicon Valley, but at Boeing they were increasingly marginalized by the bean counters."
Colin Seftel 3
Here you are:
I love this quote from the article, "McDonnell-Douglas bought Boeing with Boeing's money" and it's true!
You know, I've heard that from other folks as well, makes perfect sense. :(
How much longer can Boeing "own" Southwest??? One airframe made sense when they were a modest regional - their first 13 years they owned exclusively -200 series aircraft. Adding -300's probably wasn't a huge transition for them. But now their fleet has grown to 4 sub-types (3 present and another on order), and I don't see that -700's and -800's will be "interchangeable" with MAX's like they were with -300's and -500's. So why should SWA be owned by an airframe, for the sake of commonality, when the commonality doesn't appear to exist any longer? Even a rumor that SWA has taken a meeting with Airbus would be an "Oh, $#I+!" moment for Boeing - that they've earned.
Steve Cravener 14
The immediate future is all Airbus. Nothing is forever.
airuphere 3
Very true, yet the article really shows how Delta is set on airbus product in the extended future - even cancelling inherited 788 orders from NWA
The 787 orders were cancelled many years ago.
OK, three years officially, but it was known from the merger date it would happen.
Jesse Carroll 2
Can you say “DEATH” is forever?
Since nobody has ever reported back after dying, it is not even possible to say with 100% certainty that even death is forever.
John Gideon 1
Back in the 1990's, Airbus was threatening to sue DAL because they signed an agreement with Boeing to have an all-Boeing fleet. As I recall, the US Government forced Boeing to invalidate the contract as a condition for the McDonnell merger.
This reinforces the need for multiple suppliers to exist, competing with each other and offering "better" products to meet the needs of their customers. Not every product from manufacturer #1 will suit every customer, so manufacturer #2's product will be more attractive at times.

A healthy rivalry is essential between suppliers.

Customer airlines have a big role to play. 20 years ago they wanted mega-efficient large airframes for maximum efficiency on the hub-to-hub model - and Airbus developed the A380 (a plane which I regard as one of the best and quietest large flying sheds ever built).

But the development of a new airliner takes time (as Boeing is learning, having delayed the NMA); by the time a product is ready, requirements may have changed. By the same token, you can only "refresh" a tired old 1960s airframe so many times before inherent flaws become insurmountable. But airframes continue in service for up to 40 years. This story will spawn new chapters over the coming years and decades.
John Orman 6
Southwest Airlines needed to make changes long ago. They're so far behind now with the MAX debacle.
Ken Hardy 5
Its a cycle, Boeing got the big head when Lockheed dropped out of the commercial aircraft business and Boeing bought MacDac and took the position " who can they buy from, they got to come to us" Airbus was never given the credit for having the design and engineering talent to get to where they are today. look out Boeing the Chinese are coming also now that they have stolen the airframe and engine technology courtesy of stupid deals made by GE, Pratt and others.
Kevin Day 5
I'm very curious to know why doesn't Lockheed consider rejoining the commercial airliner business again. The L-1011 was brilliant, just a victim of relative bad timing. I believe that another firm entering in to disrupt the current duopoly could only be beneficial to the market.
Ken Hardy 4
Lockheed hitched their star to the DoD after the money losing L 1011, where else can you build flight hardware and have no risk of losing money plus get the Government to fund your R&D AND charge the taxpayer for warranty work, what a deal. BTW, the Lockheed Super Connie was a classic aircraft and do you know that Lockheed does not even have one as a museum piece, a shame.
Chris B 2
The Chinese are coming fast enough.....
wingbolt -2
The Chinese aircraft will be a complete knockoff of the MAX...single AOA...bad software...probably the Boeing logo on the yoke. Only difference will probably be an additional hookup for oxen instead of a tow bar.
fred wyse 9
Never underestimate the arrogance and incompetence of Executive Management teams and their ability to drive winning companies into the ground. Think: Polaroid, Kodak, Nokia, AOL. The next words I want to hear from any Boeing Executive are: 'Would you like fries with that?'
Robert Cowling 19
My first experience in an Airbus was on a Delta flight. After hearing that they were 'utilitarian', and 'basic', I was surprised at how well built the plane felt. Most of the knocks I had heard about the plane were BS in my experience. I actually started looking forward to fly in one. The one Boeing plane I grew to miss is the 727.

I have grown to hate the regional jets that buzz in and out of the local airport. They are beyond disgusting, filthy, cramped, rude attendants. The pressure to push the tin as fast as possible is palpable. And flying international with a start on an RJ means leaving stuff I could need on the next flight, in my checked bag, or risk gate checking another bag and having it survive, and not be stolen.

Flying in America sucks.
japanjeff 7
Wish we had more/better high speed rail service that could take you straight to those big hubs comfortably and quickly so you could skip the short RJ flight.
Don Quixote -3
Flying in America sucks? Lol, of course you'd say such a thing. Tell that to AF447 and the Germanwings passengers. Bet they loved flying for them too.

Flying in America is the greatest in the world. Options, options, options. I can fly from Boston to Honolulu non stop, 10 hours. Try doing that elsewhere in one country.
angus perkins 4
A little off the topic but I just wanted to say that I had the opportunity to fly the new a320 that Delta is using on their MSP to DFW route. Pilot actually came out and told us that only five people had sat in the seats prior to out flight. Awesome plane! Loved it!. I believe these are replacing the MD80's
As a former flight crew member, reading some of these negative comments about Boeing is sad. First of all the interior configuration (seating) is determined by the customer - not the manufacturer. If you want fly in luxury like the rich & famous, you can certainly get a plane built to your specs. Boeing has led the commercial, military and space industry far longer than Airbus. Boeing will rebound - whether you choose to fly aboard a Boeing product or not..
You do know that there is a difference between traveling in luxury and asking to have a minimum of breathing space even in coach, don’t you?
john Gargiulo 8
I am pleased that Delta is finished buying the 737-900ER, this plane is not comfortable, and performs like a semi truck with wings. It takes over 10,000 feet to get airborne on a warm day, and has an initial cruise of 30,000. One more mistake by Boeing, they need new management.
Chris B 5
As a passenger the Airbus brand of aircraft creates a nicer experience. The exception is the 787. Boeing designs have gotten long in the tooth, 737 being exhibit #1.
I worry that the re-engined 777X will create its own MCAS moment.
Our experience of the 787 is very limited. We had our first flight in a 787 with BA; seats 1J&1K right behind the driver (the slight curve where the nose meets the fuselage). The whole cabin - on both flights - seemed to spend the entire flight creaking. "Oh yes sir, they all seem to do this."

Not worrying (per-se) but irritating when you are trying to sleep on a transatlantic overnight leg.
My experience with the 787 is not positive at all. Two transatlantic flights to Paris and especially one eight hour flight from Paris to Nairobi taught me to avoid it as much as possible. No need to tell me that the airlines are at fault for cramming in 9 seats across when the original layout was 8, in 2-4-2 configuration, but that’s what passengers have to live with. Fancy window dimming does not make up for extremely crammed seating, and I’m just average size.
John Gerty 1
Is the 777X going to be prone to the same radical airframe issues which the over stretch of the 737 caused? At least this plane has the height and the apparent room to be lengthened.
Rich Boddy -5
"I worry that the re-engined 777X will create its own MCAS moment."

This is a massively stupid comment and you should feel bad for making it.
Gordon King 5
Good move. AirBus is way more comfortable to fly on long hauls. I do many long hauls every year and comfort, noise, vibration are way lower in most AirBus aircraft! Hate to say this because my office is 2 mins from Boeing’s 787 plant in CHS.
ebychi 2
obviously Delta is going for reliability. no doubt, politics and arm twisting is more responsible for Boeing's sales than quality. how else do you explain someone putting in an order for a confirmed death trap. Airbus is far better than Boeing. Boeing needs a reboot, better still a hard reset.
The root of all of Boeing's issues seems to me to be that they've lost the engineering that used to be a hallmark of their aircraft. "Suspenders and belt engineering" used to rule the day, now it seems to be sloppy and fast. If the comments of McD management in place there are true then this further concerns me about the future of Boeing. Soon it may be "If it's NOT Boeing I'm going!"
Just a polite clarification from the eastern edge of the Atlantic; "suspenders and belt" in US parlance relates to "belt and braces" engineering "over here".

Suspenders have a different connotation in Old English! But thanks for brightening an slow afternoon in the home office!
Jim Mitchell 3
If I have my way I'll be strictly Airbus as well.
James Green 1
I would opt'd to switch out for ANY other airport that going through ATL. PERIOD! The staff is over worked, angry at times, often with an attitude...Any where but Atlanta Please! Oh, least I say, and never Chicago!
Joel Alvarez 1
What a desicion! Delta Airlines!
john kilcher 1
s2v8377 1
I don't agree with Airways Magazine. Delta is still interested in Boeing aircraft. For example Delta has talked about being the launch cutomer for Boeing's NMA/797 as a 757/767 replacement. Delta has also put a lot of money into their 757 fleet updating cabins and even added some 2nd hand ones to the fleet. I don't see their 757s are going anywhere anytime soon. As the article mentioned Delta is also updating the cabin interiors on the B764s. I haven't heard anything to indicate that the A21Ns will replace 757s or 767s. I think it is far more likely that they will replace MD88s, MD90s, and older A320s.
boeing has been around for a lot of years,and it would be more than a shame if they were to lose contracts and more business because of the issues,problems and failures of some design and computer elements on the max 737 (also the boeing dreamliner i have read)..they definitely need a new strategy,more "policing" of their newly designed aircraft,and a new public relations team...
John Kliewer 13
Boeing needs a culture of integrity from the top down. Stakeholder value will follow.
scott ebrite 13
Boeing needs new management.
jbermo 0
Wow! Simply unbelievable!
Dan Shea 0
Great! 150,000 flights a day isn't enough. The tropopause is loving it. Imagine your child running around the house opening and closing every door and window. The a.c. is on and it's a 100 degrees outside. Add a couple more windows. It won't hurt.just tell the kid to quit. 9h, he won't listen.
Toure Malone 0
Delta why?! *Cries in pilot*
craigbell1941 0
As soon as Airbus quits making A330s and Hawaiian Air starts flying A321s I'm selling my Condo in Hawaii. Single aisle aircraft longer than 1 hour is cruel and unusual punishment, even in 1st class.
I'll never fly Delta again! I didn't use Delta unless it was the ONLY to get to a destination...
Don Quixote -5
I don't care what Delta does, I'm gonna fly with Boeing for the rest of my life. If it ain't Boeing, I ain't going.
Scott Alan -7
Sad to see America's best airline have no current orders from the world's greatest A/C manufacturer.
Has everyone forgotten how many Airbus crashes occurred because of autopilot mismanagement over the years??
cyberjet 7
Not the same thing at all. Boeing tried to cover up a minor aerodynamic difference with an inadequate - single point of failure - augmentation system. Those Airbus accidents were primarily issues of poor training and pilot experience. Properly flown in accordance with the Airbus SOP, none of those accidents would have occurred.
Scott Alan 7
Does that include the crash where one flew into the trees at an airshow with one of Airbus' own test/demo pilots at the controls?
Probably - yes; Habsheim in 1988 was a cascade of cockups (wrong lineup on other runway, inadequate briefing and late flight plan, very early airframe but most of all, a French driver - as in AF447 with piss-poor CRM). Any clown can fly a plane into the deck regardless of the badge on the nose.

And what about the 737 rudder hard-over incidents in US airspace, with US drivers? After UA585 at Colorado Springs in 1991 (all 25 on board dead); US457 at Pittsburgh in 1994 (132 dead) and then the recoverable (higher-altitude) Eastwind Airlines flight 517 in 1996, finally the drivers and passengers lived to tell the tale.

As for Germanwings; if the driver doesn't tell his employer that he's been signed off for suicidal thoughts, I don't think you could fairly pin that on any airframe manufacturer.

Not even a Boeing will survive CFIT (Japan Airlines 747 on flight JAL123 in 1985 with 520 dead and four survivors) - oh hang on, that was an airframe failure because of botched repairs to the aft pressure bulkhead...….
cyberjet 1
Yes, Habsheim was precisely because of a lack of understanding of the aircraft and its automation systems. The aircraft did exactly what Capt. Asseline asked it to do. The problem was he didn't understand the implications of his decisions. Also, had he stayed at the height he originally planned to fly the pass, none of it would have happened. Going as low as he did caused Land mode to become active, and the rest is history.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Fonzie1956 16
Well, that's just it isn't it? Airlines cannot just wait for an aircraft that 'might' appear years down the line. Airlines have fleet replacement and expansion plans to consider. Both of the 'big two' aircraft manufacturers make superb aircraft, but I think Boeing have screwed up big-time in recent years and need a wholesale change of personnel at the top. Heads should roll, and until then and Boeing are seen to be serious about addressing the deficiencies and failings that are all too evident, Airbus will continue to pick up more orders that may have gone to Boeing.
Greg Szanyi 3
In addition to headaches with their airliner’s, they are also struggling with delivering a quality airframe to the Air Force in the new KC-46 tanker. Boeing definitely needs to make some serious changes to remain competitive in the marketplace.
Don Quixote -2
More orders, like 5,000 MAX orders that went to Airbus? Oh wait, they didn't and they won't. You lose.
siriusloon 16
Do tell us what the 797 will be since you want us to think you know all about it. Be sure to tell Boeing, too, because they have no idea yet.

Your namesake tilted at windmills and chased impossible dreams. You have learned well, grasshopper.


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