Delta’s brand new A220 planes took off for the first time today. The planes are more fuel-efficient than some others in Delta’s fleet and offer perks for passengers such as wider seats.
The planes were originally purchased in April 2016, and had been held up by a trade dispute and the government shutdown. Delta is the first U.S. carrier to offer the planes.
The trade dispute involved Canadian manufacturer Bombardier, which Delta purchased the planes from. Boeing claimed that Bombardier sold Delta the planes below cost and illegal received government subsidies for them. Boeing lost that dispute in January of last year.
Delta had initially planned to debut the planes on January 31, but due to the government shutdown had to push the launch date yet again to today. Federal Aviation Administration safety inspectors were furloughed during the shutdown and were needed to approve the plane.
In addition to wider seats, the new planes offer other traveler perks such as larger overhead bins for carry-on luggage and large windows, including a big window inside the plane’s bathroom.