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Delta refreshes deal to buy more planes

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines said it is adding up to 40 jets to its fleet, including 20 new Boeing 737-900ER jets and up to 20 Embraer 190 jets.

Delta had announced a similar aircraft order earlier this year, but cancelled that order because it had been contingent on a new pilot contract. Pilots voted in July to reject a proposed contract, leading Delta to abandon the plane order.

Delta said it got a better deal with this order than the previous one,  though it would not disclose dollar figures.

The E190 jets, which have nearly 100 seats, are used aircraft held by Boeing. But the E190 will be a new type of aircraft to Delta's fleet, and the airline plans to start flying the planes in early 2017. It's part of an ongoing effort by Delta to retire smaller 50-seat regional jets and replace them with larger planes that are more efficient and better-liked by customers.

The 20 additional 737-900ERs will bring Delta's total fleet of that aircraft type to 120 by 2019. The list price for a 737-900ER is $99 million, though airlines often get bulk discounts.

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Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.