Flying Delta’s 1st ‘New’ Airbus A350, with Unique Business Class Cabins

If you were an airline CEO, what would you do if international travel demand came roaring back and you had already retired a chunk of your long-haul fleet? That was the problem Delta faced last year.

The Atlanta-based carrier determined that it needed more wide-body jets. And it needed them quickly — in time for the 2022 summer season, which is predicted to be one of the busiest on record.

After all, Delta retired its Boeing 777 fleet in the early days of the pandemic, leaving the airline with 18 fewer widebodies. To fly its full international schedule, Delta needed to get creative. It couldn’t just place a new order for more planes, as the lead time for deliveries can stretch multiple years.