Delta Pilot Accord Includes Plan to Add New 100-Seat Small Jet

Delta Air Lines Inc. would commit to add a new, 100-seat jet model to its mainline fleet under the carrier’s proposed contract agreement with pilots, a possible boost for manufacturers including Embraer SA and Bombardier Inc.

The accord also would let Delta deploy as many as 25 extra regional jets with 70 or 76 seats, according to a summary sent to Air Line Pilots Association members. Delta would be able to deploy one new commuter plane for every two of the 100-seaters.

Airlines prize the bigger regional aircraft because the operating costs are spread among more passengers, while pilot unions welcome growth in main jet operations because of the extra jobs. The Delta accord envisions adding the 100-seat plane “by the second half of 2016.”

Embraer and Bombardier both offer models in the 100-seat category, a niche below the single-aisle market dominated by Boeing Co. and Airbus Group SE. Delta agreed to buy 40 Bombardier regional jets in December 2012 after holding talks with the Canadian planemaker and Brazil’s Embraer.

Delta’s pilot union leaders will vote on the contract proposal Wednesday, said Kelly Regus, a spokeswoman for the airline’s ALPA chapter. Approval from the so-called master executive council would send the plan to a ratification vote among rank-and-file members.

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