Atlanta - Delta Air Lines hopes that Boeing will soon decide to develop the Boeing 797. The aircraft manufacturer has recently delayed its decision to the next year whether to start the new aircraft program for the Middle of Market.
Delta's CEO Ed Bastian sees new opportunities in the market with the Boeing 797. He already declared his desire to become the launch customer of the Boeing's NMA (New Midsized Aircraft).
Delta still has more than two hundred Boeing 757s and 767s in its fleet with an average age of 21 years, and they approach the end of their lifespan. The airline is looking for a new mid-range Widebody to replace its aging 757 and 767 fleets, therefore, Boeing's decision is vital for the carrier.
"We have related our interest to Boeing's management for this. It is now up to them to make a decision. They know how we think about it," said Bastian in a recent interview.
The Boeing 797 is intended to be a small Widebody, which is similar in size to the Boeing 767 but more economical thanks to the enhancements in its aerodynamic structure, new composite materials, and new high-tech engines.
The aircraft will be optimized for flights of four to eight hours.
Boeing recently announced that a final decision on the development has been postponed to 2020 to investigate whether there is sufficient demand. If launched, the first aircraft will fly around 2025.