Delta Air Lines is spending $770 million on new seats, replacing old ones with slim-line versions, and putting larger overhead bins into 225 airplanes.
Those slimmer seats, which have a smaller, lighter frame, allow the airline to fit more seats on a plane, AP said. The Boeing 757-200s will fit about 19 more seats, while the Airbus A319s will have six more and the A320s will fit 10 more, according to The Associated Press
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In a news release, Delta said the aircraft upgrades
will include electrical power at every seat, adjustable headrests, updated bathrooms, and more efficient galleys.
The upgrades will take about three years to complete and will build on $3 billion worth of changes that began in 2010 to provide more customer comfort and to upgrade terminal facilities and technology, the company release said.
The industry has been spending big dollars on buying new airplanes, the AP said, ordering more than 8,200 new planes in the last five years. Between Airbus SAS and The Boeing Co., 24 planes are flying off of assembly lines each week. That’s up from 11 just 10 years ago.
Most of the new planes are being ordered for new and fast-growing markets like India, according to the AP. Some, though, are for U.S. domestic use, a good sign that the companies are economically strong enough to spend the money for jets. U.S. airlines spent $11.6 billion in 2013 on improvements and new planes, more than doubling from what they spent in 2010, the AP said.
As Delta makes upgrades, American Airlines and US Airways are working to align their organizations after a recent merger. The initial changes have included blending the airline frequent flier programs and moving their terminal locations into the same areas at airports.
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