Delta to buy 100 Boeing 737 MAX 10 planes

By David Shepardson

FARNBOROUGH, England (Reuters) -Delta Air Lines will buy 100 Boeing 737 MAX 10 jets worth about $13.5 billion at list prices and has options to buy another 30, the U.S. carrier said on Monday.

Reuters reported in March that Delta was edging towards an order for 100 MAX 10 planes and reported last week that Airbus was in talks for Delta to expand an existing order of A220 planes.

Delta, which made the announcement at the Farnborough Airshow, said it would start taking MAX 10 deliveries in 2025. With the new order, Delta’s Boeing 737 fleet will expand to more than 300 total aircraft and will be its second-largest fleet family behind the Airbus A320.

Reuters has reported a top-up order from Delta for around a dozen Airbus A220s is set to be signed as soon as Tuesday at the air show.

Boeing faces a December deadline to win approval for the 737 MAX 10 – the largest member of its best-selling single-aisle airplane family. Otherwise, it must meet new cockpit alerting requirements under a 2020 law, unless Congress waives it.

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun told Aviation Week in an interview published this month that the planemaker could be forced to cancel the 737 MAX 10 over potential regulatory issues. On Sunday, Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Stan Deal said that canceling the MAX 10 was "not a high probability path."

Delta said in the event of a delay in certification "the agreement has adequate protection in place, including allowing Delta to shift to another model of the MAX family if necessary."

Delta had extensive discussions with Boeing before it agreed to the deal.

The MAX 10 aircraft will be 20%-30% more fuel efficient than the retiring Delta planes it will replace.

(Reporting by David ShepardsonEditing by David Goodman and Mark Potter)

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