Delta in talks with Airbus, Boeing to buy jets: Bloomberg

Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:26am IST

A Delta Air Lines jet takes off past a Northwest Airline jets parked at gates at the Minneapolis St.Paul International Airport in Minneapolis, Minnesota October 30, 2008. REUTERS/Eric Miller

A Delta Air Lines jet takes off past a Northwest Airline jets parked at gates at the Minneapolis St.Paul International Airport in Minneapolis, Minnesota October 30, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Eric Miller

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(Reuters) - Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N) is in talks with Airbus SAS and Boeing Co (BA.N) to buy $1 billion or more new jets, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Atlanta-based airline is looking at current versions of the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737, not the newest versions, likely meaning a deeper discount to retail prices than normal, the news agency quoted one person as saying. (link.reuters.com/byw45t)

The talks are for an order of twenty-four to thirty planes and deliveries would start in three to five years, it said.

Lindsay McDuff, a spokeswoman for Delta, told Reuters that the company does not comment on industry rumor and speculation.

The deal could have a book value of at least $1 billion, based on prices tracked by consultant Avitas of Chantilly, Virginia, Bloomberg said.

Delta, the No. 2 airline behind United Continental Holdings (UAL.N), is looking for a deal in which it could exchange some of its 50-seat regional jets for new planes from Boeing or Airbus, similar to a deal with Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) made in December.

The sale of old aircraft is a part of a cost-cutting program at the company, which includes retiring smaller, less efficient planes from its fleet.

(Reporting by Maria Ajit Thomas and Karen Jacobs; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)