Boeing and Bombardier are in a battle to win the McDonnell Douglas MD-88 replacement order from Delta Air Lines. Although Boeing is the world’s biggest jet maker, the company seems to be the underdog in this battle.
Delta currently operates 116 MD-88s, so the replacement for this fleet type will be a multi-billion order and a big win for any jet maker. In this article I will have a look at what both jet makers actually have to offer.
A look at the candidates
Table 1: Characteristics for various aircraft
What can be seen when comparing each of the aircraft with the aircraft that they have to replace is that they differ quite a bit, but the Boeing 737-700 seems to be superior in range. However, it can be questioned how useful that superior range is. The MD-88 has the shortest range of all aircraft and does the job for Delta Air Lines, so an improved range does not seem to be a requirement.
Comparing the seat figures the Bombardier CS300 has the advantage. Since it is known what aircraft is being replaced and the routes the aircraft will be utilized on, Delta Air Lines already has an idea on how many seats that aircraft should have. In this case, it is about 150 seats. The Boeing 737-700 can transport up to 149 to in dense configuration. So the Boeing 737-700 is too small, while the Boeing 737-800 with roughly 160 seats is too big.