Delta plans regional-jet purchase for up to $2.3 billion: Bloomberg

September 27, 2016 11:39 AM EDT

Passengers check in at a counter of Delta Air Lines in Mexico City, Mexico, August 8, 2016. REUTERS/Ginnette Riquelme

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(Reuters) - Delta Air Lines Inc plans to buy larger regional jets with a list value of up to $2.3 billion if it can get its pilots' union to accept an overhaul of the small-plane fleet, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

Delta wants the option of adding as many as 50 more planes in the 70- to 76-seat range, Bloomberg reported, citing a memo sent to the pilots.

Delta may eliminate the smaller planes from its fleet without giving a timeline, the report said. (

Delta declined to comment, while a spokeswoman for the Air Line Pilots Association's unit at Delta declined to comment on or confirm the memo.

The larger regional jets reportedly under consideration would burn less fuel per passenger than 50-seat planes and have room for two cabin classes rather than one, giving the Atlanta-based carrier an opportunity to add revenue.

Delta has been planning to phase out the 50-seat jets that it contracts regional airlines to fly under its Delta Connection brand.

The pilots' union has objected to any additional 70- or 76-seat jets being flown by Delta's regional affiliate airlines, Bloomberg reported.

Delta, the second-largest U.S. airline by passenger traffic, ordered 75 of Bombardier Inc's CS100 in April worth an estimated $5.6 billion based on the list price. The larger CS100 planes also burn less fuel.

(Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru and Jeffrey Dastin in New York; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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