By Tim Hepher
PARIS (Reuters) -European planemaker Airbus is in talks with Delta Air Lines to expand the U.S. carrier’s existing order for A220 small jetliners, two people familiar with the matter said.
The deal for a top-up order of around a dozen aircraft could be signed at next week’s Farnborough Airshow where the U.S. carrier is also widely expected to finalize an order for at least 100 Boeing 737 MAX airliners.
Airbus declined to comment on discussions with customers. Delta also declined to comment.
The airline has ordered 95 Canadian-designed A220s of which it has taken delivery of 56, according to end-June Airbus data.
Reuters first reported in March that Boeing was in talks with Delta for some 100 of its 737 MAX 10 jets..
Delta Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian said in June the airline was trying to reach a deal with Boeing.
Bastian told investors on an earnings call on Wednesday that the airline could make some additional orders but did not confirm a deal with Airbus or Boeing. He added that Delta is in a good place with orders but sees opportunities in the next 3-5 years for large narrow-body acquisitions.
“That’s something that we’re always talking to Airbus and Boeing about and whether that’s used or whether that’s new, there’s opportunity there,” Bastian said. “We’ve got a pretty healthy stream of wide-bodies coming. So I’d say the focus in the back end of the five-year period is on the large narrow bodies.”
(Reporting by Tim Hepher; additional reporting by David Shepardson in Washington and Rajesh Kumar Singh in Chicago; Editing by Louise Heavens)