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Delta Announces $1 Billion in Fleet Enhancements

Delta announced it will spend $1 billion on fleet enhancements through 2013. The investment will go mostly toward improving onboard seating and amenities, as well as improvements to fuel efficiency.

The specific enhancements are as follows:

  • Installing full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite on 90 trans-oceanic aircraft, including 14 Boeing 767-400ERs, 52 Boeing 767-300ERs, 16 Boeing 747-400s, and eight Boeing 777-200ERs. Upon completion, each of these fleets will have full flat-bed seats on all aircraft.
  • Adding in-seat audio and video on demand throughout Economy Class on 16 Boeing 747-400 and 52 Boeing 767-300ER aircraft. With these additions, Delta will offer personal, in-seat entertainment for both BusinessElite and Economy class customers on all wide-body aircraft.
  • Adding First Class cabins to 66 CRJ-700 aircraft operated by Delta Connection carriers ASA, Comair, and SkyWest, bringing to 219 the number of regional aircraft with First Class seating.
  • Completing the modification of 269 pre-merger Northwest aircraft to feature Delta’s signature blue leather seats, updated lighting, and enhanced cabin amenities such as increased overhead bin space on pre-merger Northwest 757-200s.
  • Installing winglets on more than 170 Boeing 767-300ER, 757-200, and 737-800 aircraft to extend aircraft range and improve fuel efficiency by as much as 5 percent.
  • Renovating and expanding Delta’s Los Angeles Sky Club lounge, and introducing new Sky Club locations in Seattle, Philadelphia, and Indianapolis.

Interestingly, Delta’s announcement comes the day before it reports its fourth-quarter and full-year results for 2009. The airline said it decided to spend its capital on improving the planes it has instead of buying new ones, and claims this approach will result in a more consistent customer experience across its fleet.

Readers, what do you think about Delta’s enhancements? Have you noticed a big difference between one Delta aircraft and another?

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