“The 737-10 will provide Delta Air Lines with the best economics to carry more passengers across its short and medium-haul routes,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Stan Deal.
Updated at 10:42 am EST
Boeing (BA) – Get The Boeing Company Report shares powered higher Monday after Delta Air Lines (DAL) – Get Delta Air Lines Inc. Report said it will buy at least 100 of the planemaker’s 737 Max jets, its largest order in more than a decade, to add to its expanding fleet.
Delta, which is heading into its strongest summer demand since the pandemic but is being squeezed by high fuel and labor costs that have limited its ability to expand schedules, agreed the purchase with Boeing at the Farnborough Air Show in southwest England.
The carrier will buy 100 of the workhorse 737 Max, with an option to purchase another 30, as it seeks to upgrade and modernize its single-aisle fleet. List prices for the purchase were not made public by either Boeing or Delta.
Boeing also said last week that it delivered 51 planes over the month of June, taking its first half total to 216, a 28% increase from the same period in 2021 and its best June total since the pandemic.
“The Boeing 737-10 will be an important addition to Delta’s fleet as we shape a more sustainable future for air travel, with an elevated customer experience, improved fuel efficiency and best-in-class performance,” said CEO Ed Bastian. “These new aircraft provide superior operating economics and network flexibility, and the agreement reflects our prudent approach to deploying our capital.”
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“This aircraft will be piloted, served and maintained by the very best professionals in the business, and it’s their hard work and dedication to our customers that always sets us apart,” he added.
Boeing shares were marked 2.5% higher in early trading following news of the purchase to change hands at $151.50 each. Delta shares jumped 5.35% to trade at $31.70 each.
Over the weekend, Boeing tweaked its longer-term projections for industry aircraft demand by around 5.6%, but still expects around 41,170 new planes will be needed over the next 20 years.
The modestly lower tally, Boeing said, accounts for around 1,500 planes that would have been sold into the Russian market, which remains essentially closed to commercial providers owing to its ongoing war in Ukraine.
“The global industry is still on a recovery trajectory back to where the normal relationship of GDP and traffic would be,” said Boeing vice president Darren Hulst said. “Any small blip from an economy standpoint would be probably overwhelmed by the demand that exists as a result of those normal economic relationships.”
Last week, Delta said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in June were pegged at $1.44 per share, up from a loss of $1.07 per share over the same period last year but well shy of the Street consensus of $1.66 per share. Group revenues, Delta said, nearly doubled from last year to $13.84 billion, firmly ahead of analysts’ estimates of a $13.24 billion tally.
Delta’s operating margin came in at a lower-than-expected rate of 11.7%, thanks to surging jet fuel prices as well as costs linked to staff overtimes amid a chronic pilot shortage and charges tied to customer re-booking during the worst of the spring flight schedule disruptions.
Looking into the current quarter, Delta said its sees revenue growth of between 1% and 5% from 2019 levels, but plans to cap capacity at June quarter levels.