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Delta is the only major US airline not to order a supersonic, EVTOL aircraft

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  • Delta is the only major US airline not to invest in Boom Supersonic’s Overture jets or eVTOL aircraft.
  • CEO Ed Bastian told Fox Business that “there are still more questions than answers” about Overture.
  • Travel analyst Henry Harteveldt told Insider Delta that the airline may purchase the aircraft if it sees fit in the company’s business strategy.

While major U.S. airlines such as American Airlines and United Airlines are betting on future aircraft such as supersonic jets and electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, one airline has yet to invest.

On Tuesday, American Airlines announced an order for 20 Boom Supersonic Overture aircraft, with the option of adding another 40. The acquisition puts the Texas-based airline on track to become the largest operator of super-fast planes.

United Airlines, which has placed an order for 15 aircraft in June 2021, with an option for an additional 35, is another U.S. airline interested in Overture.

Meanwhile, both major carriers are also investing in electric aircraft, especially eVTOL.

American recently pre-ordered 250 VX4 flying taxis from Vertical Aerospace, and United put $10 million into Archer Aviation’s 100 “Midnight” eVTOLs. United is also investing in Hart Aerospace’s ES-19 electric plane.

American Airlines and United Airlines are signing deals with startups that promise a new future, but Delta is the only major US airline that has not invested in either. While this might suggest Delta has a different vision for its future fleet, Henry Harvelt, travel analyst and president of his group at Atmosphere Research, said otherwise. said it might not.

Instead, he told Insider that he “credits” Delta for taking the time to make decisions.

“There is an opportunity cost when an airline buys an aircraft. The type of aircraft doesn’t matter because airlines have limited funds to invest,” he said. “Airlines want to invest wisely for the best possible return, so I think it’s okay for Delta to choose not to order Overture or eVTOL.”

Skepticism about Boom’s Overture jet

Boom Supersonic Overture.

boom supersonic

Delta will very likely decide to purchase supersonic or electric aircraft in the future, Harteveldt said, but wants to make sure the investment fits into its business model and network.

“There’s a lot of skepticism in the aviation industry when it comes to booms,” he said. “I don’t have an engine right now.”

Delta Air Lines Chief Executive Ed Bastian admitted to Fox Business on Tuesday that he was skeptical about the jet, saying “there are still more questions than answers.”

“Until we are confident that we can actually generate a reliable return from the aircraft, we are not investing in it,” he said.

Delta’s Boeing 757-200 could be in service for another 10-20 years

Delta Boeing 757.

Delta Boeing 757.

Thiago B. Trevisan/Shutterstock

Harteveldt explained that Delta has not ordered Overture or eVTOL, but has made the decision to keep its current fleet flying longer.

Specifically, Boeing 737-800, Boeing 737-900ER and Boeing 757-200 aircraft are fitted with split scimitar winglets manufactured by Seattle-based Aviation Partners Boeing to reduce carbon emissions. .

Harteveldt says the inclusion of the 757 is particularly surprising.

“The 757 is a great plane, but it is no longer in production and there is a lot of interest in the future of the aircraft,” he said. , they found a way to keep flying for another 10 to 20 years.”

“They may not be the greenest planes because the engines aren’t as fuel efficient as some newer generations, but Delta keeps dozens of 757s out of landfills,” Harteveldt said. continued Mr.

Delta Air Lines

Harteveldt said Delta could still place orders for eVTOL and Overture in the future, and would do so if Delta saw a fit with either business strategy. But he stressed that airlines “shouldn’t feel compelled to order a plane just because other airlines are doing it.”

The important thing for Delta is to find a reasonable aircraft from a business perspective, from a route and network perspective, and from the perspective of whether it will benefit the company and attract more customers. “