NEW YORK (Reuters) – Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N) said on Tuesday that Boeing Co’s (BA.N) anticipated new mid-market jet is an “interesting concept,” in an early indication the carrier is not harboring ill will over a recent trade row with the planemaker.
Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that the No. 2 U.S. airline wants to be one of the first customers for the developing Boeing jet, citing a posting from Chief Executive Ed Bastian on Delta’s internal website.
Delta declined to comment on the Bloomberg report, but expressed interest in the proposed new plane series.
“Delta finds it to be an interesting concept and could be a long-term replacement for some 757s and 767s,” spokesman Morgan Durrant said. “Delta is actively engaged with Boeing on this and we will continue a healthy dialogue with them as the program matures.”
The future of Boeing and Delta’s relationship seemed unsure in recent months after Boeing rallied the federal government to impose stiff duties on a Delta order of Canadian-made Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) narrowbody jets.
A U.S. international trade body ruled against Boeing in the complaint earlier this year, sparing the sale from a nearly 300 percent tariff.
Analysts had speculated the acrimonious dispute, which highlighted growing trade tensions between the United States and Canada, could permanently sour the relationship between Delta and Boeing and push the airline to favor European planemaker Airbus (AIR.PA) on future jet orders.
Reporting by Alana Wise; Editing by David Gregorio and Meredith Mazzilli