Last week Delta welcomed a brand new aircraft to its fleet, the Airbus A321. This narrow-body aircraft seats 192 passengers– about as many as Delta’s workhorse 757s. In coming years, Delta’s new 737-900s as well as the A321s will replace its old and unloved fleet of Boeing 757s, which seat around 185 passengers, depending on configuration.
Delta will take on a total of 15 A321s this year, and 30 more by 2018. Initially the planes will come from Airbus’ assembly facility in Hamburg, Germany, but later on, deliveries will come from a new Airbus plant in Mobile, Alabama.
Initially the A321s will be deployed on routes between Atlanta and Florida cities, but eventually they will be used on longer haul domestic flights.
The A321 is super popular among US carriers these days– for example, both American and JetBlue use the A321 for their transcontinental flights between New York and California. American alone flies about 180 Airbus A321s.
Delta currently has about 125 Airbus A319’s and A320s– so how can you spot the difference between an Airbus A319, A320 and an A321? Read this TravelSkills planespotting post to find out! (Hint: Look at the doors.)
Delta’s A321 will seat 20 in first, 29 in Comfort+ and 143 economy. Delta says seats on the A321 are “among the widest in the industry.” All seats get live seatback satellite TV, wi-fi and 110v power outlets.
The plane also features larger, high-capacity overhead bins, LED ambient lighting, Delta’s new textured seat design.
UPDATE April 29: Today Delta announced that it has ordered 37 more Airbus A321s, and now has 82 of the new birds on the books.
Readers: What do you think of Delta’s newest jets? Are they better than its tatty 757s– most of which are more than 20 years old? Please leave your comments below.
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