By Eric M. Johnson
ATLANTA (Reuters) – Delta Air Lines Inc Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian said on Tuesday he was confident U.S. planemaker Boeing Co would resolve issues related to its 737 MAX jet in the wake of two deadly crashes involving that type of aircraft.
Delta does not own the MAX, which was flown in the United States by its rivals Southwest Airlines Co, American Airlines Group Inc and United Airlines until a global grounding last month following the two deadly crashes.
The global 737 MAX ban came as Boeing was moving toward a decision on whether to launch an all-new jet programme with a mid-sized model meant to straddle the narrowbody and widebody markets.
Speaking at an aviation conference in Atlanta, Bastian said Delta was “very interested” in Boeing’s proposed new mid-market airplane, though he said the world’s largest planemaker was focussing first on dealing with the crisis surrounding the MAX.
Delta shares have surged about 10 percent since the No. 2 U.S. airline raised its first-quarter profit estimate earlier this month on the back of strong business travel demand.
The Atlanta-based carrier is due to publish first-quarter results on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson; Writing by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Bernadette Baum)