As the next step in its ongoing fleet refurbishment, Delta said it has started to overhaul the interiors of its Delta Connection regional jets – and some of them will get more seats than they have now.
Those jets are operated by various regional carriers under the Delta Connection banner, but Delta sets the same physical standards for all of them. Delta said its 65-seat CRJ-700s will be the first to get the work done – an 18-month project that will transform them into 69-seat aircraft.
Their current configuration includes nine first class seats, eight extra-legroom Delta Comfort+ economy seats, and 48 in regular economy. After the refurbishing, the CRJ-700s will have nine seats in first class, 16 in Delta Comfort+ and 44 in regular economy, a net gain of four seats.
“To do this, the rear wall of the cabin will be pushed back, stretching the usable seating space,” Delta said. It did not say whether the seat pitch in the new planes will remain the same. Currently, seat pitch in Delta’s CRJ-700s is 31 inches in the main cabin, 34 inches in Delta Comfort+ and 36 inches in first class.
The overhaul project will also cover Delta Connection CRJ-900s, and Embraer 170s and 175s. Delta said the 76-seat CRJ-900s will retain their current configuration of 12 seats in first, 12 in Delta Comfort+ and 52 in regular economy.
The aircraft will get new leather seats that offer in-seat power outlets in first class and Delta Comfort+. The rehab will also give the aircraft new carpeting, “refreshed” side walls and overhead bins, and ambient lighting. The new interiors are intended to give Delta’s regional jets “an even more mainline-like feel,” said Erik Snell, the airline’s vp for Delta Connection.
There are 450 aircraft in the Delta Connection fleet, and two-thirds of them are larger, two-class regional jets. Operators include Compass Airlines, Endeavor Air, Expressjet, GoJet, SkyWest and Shuttle America.
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