Atlanta-based Delta Airlines is planning to order 100 A321neo from Airbus to the dismay of the rival American company Boeing. Delta’s board of directors is expected to meet Wednesday to vote on the Airbus purchase, the sources said.
Delta had been negotiating with the aerospace giant Boeing about buying around 100 of its 737 Max 10 airliners, a person familiar with the matter said. Anyhow, Boeing and Delta have been entangled with an ongoing trade dispute over the airline’s purchase of the smaller Canadian Bombardier C Series. Boeing had accused Bombardier of selling the C Series to Delta at unfairly low prices, and the U.S. Commerce Department has recommended a preliminary 300% tariff on the import of the jets. Bombardier and the Canadian government has denied any unfair trade practices.
Airbus has opened an assembly line in Mobile, Alabama to build planes for U.S. airlines. Depending on the urgency, a portion of the impending order would very likely be assembled in the U.S. This agreement, if comes through, would also constitute a significant boost for Pratt & Whitney, which was hit by supply chain and reliability issues on its new engine that powers Delta’s selection.