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Delta expects government shutdown to delay launch of new Airbus A220 jets

Key Points
  • Delta says the Jan. 31 launch date of its new Airbus A220 planes will likely be delayed.
  • The airline needs the FAA to sign off on the new planes, but inspectors are furloughed in the shutdown.
A Delta Airlines Airbus A220-100
Source: Airbus

Federal inspectors furloughed in the partial U.S. government shutdown will likely force Delta Air Lines to delay the launch of its brand-new Airbus A220 planes.

Delta planned to start flying the new jets, aircraft it hopes will attract more high-paying business travelers on board with more spacious cabins, on Jan. 31.

That start date will likely be "pushed back" because of delays in approval from federal inspectors, Delta's CEO Ed Bastian said in a call with analysts on Tuesday.

Bastian said it's losing $25 million a month in revenue due to the shutdown, the longest ever, due to weaker demand as fewer federal employees and contractors travel.

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