The announcement by the White House Friday afternoon of an agreement to reopen the federal government came too late to maintain Delta Air Lines’ originally scheduled January 31 launch date for the Airbus A220. The airline confirmed on Friday it will postpone the introduction of the new narrowbody until February 7 due to delays in the certification process caused by staffing shortages at the Federal Aviation Administration.
An airline spokesman said that Delta will operate the planned flights with other aircraft to avoid any service disruption. The airline expects schedules to reflect the change in equipment on Saturday.
Delta took delivery of its first A220 on October 26 and since then has taken three more. It will base its first 109-seat A220 at New York La Guardia Airport and launch service on February 7 to Boston and Dallas. Next, in March, it expects to fly an A220 from Detroit to Dallas. Schedules also call for flights from La Guardia to Houston starting in April, from Salt Lake City to Dallas in May, from Minneapolis to Dallas in June, from Houston to Detroit, Minneapolis and Salt Lake City in July and from New York-JFK to Dallas in August.
The airplanes’ 109-seat interior includes 12 seats in first class and 15 in Delta’s Comfort Plus premium economy section.