While this may not be big news to some people, personally I had not been aware that Delta indeed has orders in to Boeing for 18 Dreamliners. Beyond that, the company also has some A350's on order from Airbus.
Why is this so surprising to me? Mostly because I see Delta as the used car king. The CEO likes to brag about going around buying up used 777 aircraft for massively reduced prices over a brand new aircraft. This seems to be a point of pride for the Delta CEO, whether that is a good or bad thing can be argued.
On one hand, the massive discount on used 777 aircraft is something that can be understood. The price reduction is so large that the definite higher fuel consumption rates may make the aircraft worth the cost up front. However, Delta seems to hang on to planes for a long time. I'm still taken back that 767's seem to be a huge workhorse for them on international flights, a plane that is out of production and has been for some years now.
787's are the new boy on the block for this sized aircraft, but they are rarely found in used condition since they are so new. 787's also boast massive fuel savings over their aging counterparts. The A350 is in the same ballpark, however, they service a market for larger aircraft. While it shouldn't be surprising to me that Delta wants to take advantage of these new aircraft to some extent, their CEO's brazen attitude toward new aircraft leaves me a bit in disbelief that they actually shelled out money for new aircraft.
Here's to seeing more of the 787 and far less of the aging 767. I hope to see more than 18 orders for 787's in the future as Delta hopefully starts to phase out old aircraft. I won't hold my breath though.