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Delta cancels 787 Dreamliner order

Delta Air Lines is canceling its order for Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets, after deciding previously to defer deliveries of the planes.

Atlanta-based Delta had inherited the order for 787s through its 2008 merger with Northwest Airlines.

The question of what Delta would do with the order had been up in the air for years. In 2010, the airline announced it had decided to defer delivery of the 18 787-8 planes until 2020 and later.

On Tuesday when the company announced the cancellation of the order, Delta's senior Vice president of fleet Greg May said in a written statement: “This business decision is consistent with Delta’s fleet strategy to prudently address our widebody aircraft needs.”

The cancellation is a hit to Boeing. Delta has also placed high-profile orders with competitor  Airbus.

But the carrier said Tuesday it still has orders for 120 Boeing 737-900ERs, and is taking delivery of those planes.

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Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.