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Already juggling tenuous contract negotiations with a labor union and the ongoing investigation into lithium-ion batteries aboard its 787 Dreamliner, Boeing (NYSE:BA) is reportedly engaged in talks with Delta (NYSE:DAL) over an order for as many as 30 aircraft.
People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that as part of a fleet-overhaul initiative, Delta, the world’s second-largest airline, is evaluating whether it wants to replace some of its 50-seat aircraft with the Boeing 737 or the Airbus A320. Both planes are a rung below the Dreamliner in the hierarchy of aircraft, but have been the backbone of the industry for years.
Estimates put the size of the deal at about $1 billion, a deep discount to the nearly $3 billion listed retail value for an order this large. Boeing may be willing to offer steeper discounts in light of all the bad mojo the company has accumulated over the past few weeks because of the Dreamliner battery fiasco. In 2012, for the first time in a decade, Boeing out-delivered its European rival. The company highlighted its victory with an initiative to double its Dreamliner production capacity, but with fleets grounded for a week already, Boeing’s ambitions have been complicated…
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